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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Nupur Sharma gets FIR relief in Supreme Court

Order also applicable to all future FIRs that may be registered against suspended BJP spokesperson with respect to her comments

Our Legal Correspondent New Delhi Published 11.08.22, 02:30 AM
Nupur Sharma

Nupur Sharma File picture

The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred to Delhi police all FIRs against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed.

The order is also applicable to all future FIRs that may be registered against Sharma with respect to her comments.

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A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala extended until further orders the interim protection from any coercive action granted to Sharma on July 19 till the Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) of the Delhi police concluded the probe. The apex court said the IFSO was free to coordinate with other state police during the investigation.

The court granted Sharma liberty to approach Delhi High Court for appropriate remedy to quash the FIRs registered against her.

The bench passed the directives while refusing a plea by senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, appearing for the Bengal government, seeking an investigation against Sharma by a court-monitored SIT.

Questioning the rationale behind Sharma seeking transfer of FIRs to Delhi, Guruswamy said “the maximum impact of the accused’s statement was felt in Bengal”. She added that the first FIR against Sharma was registered in Mumbai.

Guruswamy argued that Sharma, being an accused, could not decide the jurisdiction of her trial.

“Please consider the nature of the issue, which has caused an impact on our democracy and tainted the rule of law,” Guruswamy argued.

Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Sharma, submitted that she was forced to approach the apex court because of the life threats she received following her statement during a debate on a news channel on May 26 that she subsequently withdrew.

The senior counsel referred to the recent apex court order to club the multiple FIRs against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair and transfer all the cases against him to Delhi on his request.

On July 19, the top court had restrained police authorities across the country from taking any coercive action on the multiple FIRs, including three in Bengal, and a lookout notice by Calcutta police against Sharma.

The apex court also had issued notices to Maharashtra, Telangana, Bengal and the Delhi police to file their response to Sharma’s plea for transfer of the FIRs to Delhi and posted the matter for further hearing to August 10.

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