"What Is The Business Of TV Channel To Discuss Sub Judice Issue Except To Promote An Agenda?" Supreme Court Asks In Nupur Sharma's Case
While hearing former BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma's petition to club the multiple FIRs registered over her remarks on Prophet Muhammed, the Supreme Court asked why the TV channel held a discussion on a sub-judice issue.
"What is the business of the TV channel to discuss the matter which is sub-judice, except to promote an agenda?", a bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala asked.
Sharma made the controversial comments during a panel discussion in Times Now Channel on the Gyanvapi mosque issue, which is pending before the Courts. The comments made by Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammed in the show hosted by Times Now anchor Navika Kumar created a huge controversy. The comments even invited international condemnation with 16 Islamic nations expressing their disapproval. Following the uproar, Sharma was removed as Spokesperson and suspended from the BJP membership.
In the hearing today, Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Sharma, submitted that Sharma made the comments in response to the provocation from a co-debator.
"If there is a misue of the debate, the first thing she should have done was to file an FIR against the anchor", the bench commented.
The bench slammed Sharma's comments and said that her "loose tongue" set the country on fire.
"What is her business to make these remarks?...The way she has ignited emotions across the country... This lady is single handedly responsible for what is happening in the country", the bench said.
The bench also made a reference to the Udaipur murder case during the hearing.
When Singh submitted that she has apologized and withdrawn her remarks, the bench pointed out that it came "too late".
"She should have gone to the TV and apologized to the nation…She was too late to withdraw...and too she withdraws conditionally, saying if sentiments hurt", the bench said.
The Supreme Court was of the view that merely being the spokesperson of a national political party does not give any person a license to say such disturbing things. It added,
"These are not religious people at all, they make statements to provoke", the Court remarked.
The Court refused to entertain the petition and asked her to approach the concerned High Court seeking relief.
"The petition smacks of her arrogance, that the Magistrates of the country are too small for her", the Court said.
Singh contended the statements were made in a state of provocation. He further submitted that there are serious debates on this issue within the same community, and Sharma's remarks are not something taken out of box.
He relied on Arnab Goswami's case to argue that the relief of clubbing FIRs may be granted. Singh also referred to the TT Antony case which held that there can be no second FIR on same cause of action.
Unconvinced, Justice Kant remarked, "The case of a journalist on expressing rights on a particular issue is on a different pedestal from a spokesperson who is lambasting others with irresponsible statements without thinking of the consequences."
It refused to entertain the petition and asked Sharma to approach the High Court. "The conscience of the court is not satisfied. You avail other remedies."
Accordingly, liberty was granted to withdraw the petition.