Pinnacle Court judge of Nupur Sharma plea slams 'personal attacks for judgments'

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'It can cause dangerous scenario'

Supreme Court judge who heard Nupur Sharma plea slams "personal attacks for judgments", says "can cause dangerous scenarios".

"Personal attacks on judges for his or her judgements cause a dangerous scenario," said Justice JB Pardiwala - a part of the bench that told former BJP spokesperson to apologise to the full country. 

A bench on Friday had said Nupur Sharma, the suspended BJP spokesperson who made derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammed, had “ignited emotions across the country” together with her “loose tongue” and was “single-handedly” accountable for what's happening within the country.

The bench also wondered why Delhi police, who had been quick to arrest others, had not acted against her to date.

“These people don't seem to be religious. they need no respect for other religions. These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents within the country. These remarks were made for reasonable publicity or for political agenda…,” the bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala said.

Both Pardiwala and Surya Kant were attacked on social media following their comments against Sharma. 

At one point, pertaining to the correct freedom of expression, the court said: “Yes. In a democracy everyone has the proper to talk. In a democracy, grass has the proper to grow and donkeys have the proper to eat.”

Amid a social media debate over the impact of the court’s comments, one factor that stood out was the silence of the chief leadership. Had the Prime Minister made a swift and unequivocal statement, especially when a minimum of three people were killed within the wake of Sharma’s comments, a glaring vacuum would are filled and therefore the court wouldn't have had to create the observations.

The court refused to entertain Sharma’s petition seeking the clubbing of a minimum of nine FIRs filed against her in multiple states for the remarks, made on the TimesNow channel in end-May, which had provoked outrage within the country and in West Asia. Sharma’s counsel then sought permission to withdraw the petition, which was granted.

The court’s stinging remarks triggered a debate on social media with some users wondering why the court had not gone beyond the condemnation and ordered Sharma’s arrest. But others underlined that the brief of the bench was to come to a decision on clubbing the petitions, and any arrest must follow due procedure like investigations conducted by the police on the idea of the FIRs.

Another group worried about the larger fallout of the comments, fearing whether the court’s observations may well be misused by a vindictive State to induce multiple FIRs lodged in several states to harass dissenters.

But lawyers seen that the Supreme Court bench had advised Sharma to explore other remedial measures, like approaching lower courts together with her plea.