The Supreme Court today blamed suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for igniting tension with her comments on Prophet Muhammad and said she should “apologise to the whole country”.
“The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country,” said the judges.
Nupur Sharma’s offensive comments, made during a TV debate earlier this month, sparked massive protests in India and several Gulf countries summoned Indian diplomats to issue severe reprimands. On Tuesday, a tailor in Udaipur, Kanhaiya Lal, who had backed Nupur Sharma in a social media post, was murdered on camera by two men who said they were “avenging an insult to Islam”.
“We saw the debate on how she was incited. But the way she said all this and later says she was a lawyer it is shameful. She should apologise to the whole country,” said Justice Surya Kant.
Nupur Sharma had filed a petition using the name “NV Sharma” asking for the transfer of multiple FIRs filed against her to Delhi, citing threats. The video of her comments was “doctored mischievously” and “shared by anti-social elements”, she said in the petition.
Questioned on the “deceptive name” on her petition, her lawyer said she had not used her name because of the threats. “She faces threats or she has become a security threat,” the judges snapped.
The court snubbed Nupur Sharma’s argument on “equal treatment” and “no discrimination”.
“When you file FIRs against others, they are immediately arrested but when it’s against you, nobody has dared to touch you,” the judges said.
Her comments showed her “obstinate and arrogant character”, said the Supreme Court.
“What if she is the spokesperson of a party? She thinks she has back up of power and can make any statement without respect to the law of the land?”
Her lawyer replied she had only responded to a question by the anchor during a TV debate. When the lawyer referred to the citizens right to speak, the judges replied caustically: “In a democracy, everyone has the right to speak. In a democracy, grass has right to grow and the donkey has the right to eat.”
Nupur Sharma’s argument citing a previous order about protecting journalistic freedom did not wash.
“She cannot be put on the pedestal of a journalist. When she goes and lambasts on a TV debate and makes irresponsible statements without thinking of the ramifications and consequences that it will have on the fabric of society,” the Supreme Court said.
Nupur Sharma withdrew her petition.