Indian Supreme Court slams Nupur Sharma, calls for apology over anti-Muslim comments

The Supreme Court of India has blamed suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for igniting tension with her comments on Prophet Muhammad and called on her "apologise to the whole country", private broadcaster NDTV reports.

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Published : 1 July 2022, 09:11 AM
Updated : 1 July 2022, 09:11 AM

"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 on Friday.

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.

"We saw the debate on how she was incited. But the way she said all this and later says she was a lawyer is shameful. She should apologise to the whole country," said Justice Surya Kant.

Nupur Sharma had requested the court to transfer to Delhi the multiple FIRs filed against her across the country, citing threats. She, however, has withdrawn the petition.

Her lawyer said she had not used her name on the petition because of the threats. "She faces threats or she has become a security threat," the judges snapped.

The court snubbed 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," the court responded.

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 the right to grow and the donkey has the right to eat."

Sharma's argument citing an order about protecting journalistic freedom also 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," said the Supreme Court.

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