Indian Supreme Court slams BJP leader Nupur for shameful anti-Islam remarks
Court remarks Nupur Sharma 'single-handedly responsible for what's happening' in country: She should ‘apologise to whole country’
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Nupur Sharma's comments on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) - amid the dispute over Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi - had triggered a huge row.
The BJP took action against her and another party leader - Naveen Jindal - amid controversy over their comments. Several countries - including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait - sent official notes to India over the matter. India, however, had underscored that "all religions are equally respected in the country".
Nupur Sharma's “loose tongue has set the entire country on fire”, the top court said on Friday, taking a strong view as the 37-year-old leader requested getting all the FIRs (first information reports) filed against her - in different parts of the country - transferred to Delhi. "She should apologise to the whole country," the court said.
“Her outburst is responsible for the unfortunate incident at Udaipur,” the court further underlined, referring to the beheading of a tailor in the Rajasthan district earlier this week, which had sparked huge tensions. Strict curbs are still place in Udaipur, which has been a popular tourist destination among tourists in India and abroad.
In her petition, Sharma had said she had been facing life threats. Earlier, Naveen Jindal too had said he and his family were facing threats.
The court has refused her relief and underscored: "When you lodge a complaint against someone that person is arrested but nobody dares to touch you. That shows your clout."
"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. "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.
The court snubbed Nupur Sharma's argument on "equal treatment" and "no discrimination". "But 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. "There should have been a case against the host then," said the court.
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."
Fact-checker Mohammad Zubair - who had highlighted Sharma's comments on Prophet - was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday over a tweet he had posted in 2018.