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BREAKING| Supreme Court Protects Times Now Anchor Navika Kumar From Coercive Action On FIRs Over Nupur Sharma's Comments On Prophet

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 Aug 2022 8:11 AM GMT
BREAKING| Supreme Court Protects Times Now Anchor Navika Kumar From Coercive Action On FIRs Over Nupur Sharmas Comments On Prophet
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The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim protection to Times Now anchor Navika Kumar from the multiple FIRs/complaints registered over the remarks made by Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammed in a channel show and future FIRs/complaints which may be registered on the same issue.A bench comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli passed this interim order while issuing notice on the...

The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim protection to Times Now anchor Navika Kumar from the multiple FIRs/complaints registered over the remarks made by Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammed in a channel show and future FIRs/complaints which may be registered on the same issue.

A bench comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli passed this interim order while issuing notice on the writ petition filed by Navika Kumar against the multiple FIRs registered in different states over the remarks made in the channel show telecasted on May 26.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kumar, submitted that Kumar did not make the controversial remarks and she in fact tried to "douse the fire".

"In this particular debate, the anchor said nothing. Debate was about Gyanvapi. Suddenly one contestant started speaking, other contested retorted. Petitioner did not say anything. She in fact doused the fire by saying we have to go by the Constitution", Rohatgi submitted. He pointed out that the first FIR was registered in Delhi and sought for clubbing of the cases with the Delhi FIR.

He said that Kumar is facing a "rush of FIRs" and that there are six FIRs against her in Kolkata alone. He relied on the TT Antony case decision which held that second FIR cannot be registered with respect to the same offence. The senior counsel also pointed out that the Court has granted interim protection to prime accused Nupur Sharma.

Senior Advocate Dr Menaka Guruswamy appeared for the State of West Bengal and said that the first FIR was registered in Kolkata and the Delhi FIR was not concerning the relevant broadcast.

"What is the special interest of the State of West Bengal in this matter?", Rohatgi asked.

"Because the State of West Bengal takes hate speech seriously", Guruswamy retorted.

The bench agreed to issue notice, returnable within two weeks, and granted interim relief from coercive action. "Meanwhile, as an interim measure, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned FIRs/complaints or future FIRs/complaints which may be registered with respect to the broadcast of May 26", the order stated.

Rohatgi also pressed for an interim stay on the investigation. However, the bench said that it cannot pass such an order without hearing the respondents.

"This order will serve your purpose", Justice Murari told Rohatgi.

On July 19, 2022, by way of an interim relief to former BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma, the Supreme Court had directed that no coercive steps be taken against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in the multiple FIRs registered in several states over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a television channel debate on May 26. The bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala which had earlier refused to club all the FIR registered against her had said that the same relief will cover any future FIR or complaint which may be registered or entertained against her with respect to the same telecast.

Case Title: Navika Kumar v Union of India and Ors| WP(Crl) 286 of 2022



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