The Supreme Court today blamed suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for fueling tensions with her comments about the prophet Mohammed and said she should “apologize to the entire country”.
“The way she has sparked emotions across the country. This lady is solely responsible for what is happening in the country,” said the judges.
Nupur Sharma’s insulting comments, made during a TV debate earlier this month, sparked mass protests in India and several Gulf states called on Indian diplomats to issue stern reprimands.
“We’ve seen the debate about how she was incited. But the way she said all this and later says she was a lawyer is shameful. She should apologize to the whole country,” Judge Surya Kant said.
Nupur Sharma had asked the court to transfer to Delhi the multiple FIRs filed against her across the country, citing threats. Her lawyer said she did not use her name on the petition because of the threats. “She is under threat or she has become a security threat,” the judges snapped.
The court rejected Nupur Sharma’s argument about “equal treatment” and “no discrimination”.
“But if you file FIRs against others, they will be arrested immediately, but if it’s against you, no one has dared to touch you,” the judges said.
Her comments showed her “stubborn and arrogant character”, according to the Supreme Court.
“What if she is the spokesperson for a party. She thinks she has the power and can make any statement without respect for the law of the land?”
Her lawyer replied that she had only responded to a question from the presenter during a TV debate.
“There should have been a case against the host then,” the court said.
When the lawyer referred to the citizens’ right to speak, the judges snapped: “In a democracy, everyone has the right to speak. In a democracy, grass has the right to grow and the donkey has the right to eat.”
Nupur Sharma’s argument citing an injunction protecting journalistic freedom did not hold.
“She cannot be put on a journalist’s pedestal. If she starts to criticize a TV debate and makes irresponsible statements without thinking about the consequences and consequences that will have for the fabric of society,” according to the Supreme Court.