The Supreme Court ordered on Friday that all FIRs, which were already registered or may be lodged in future against Times Now anchor Navika Kumar, in connection with the remarks made by suspended BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma over Prophet Muhammad during a debate on the news channel, be transferred to the IFSO unit of Delhi Police.
The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari further directed that no coercive action shall be taken against Kumar in relation to both the current and future FIRs, till eight weeks. Relying on the orders passed in the case of Nupur Sharma, the Apex Court said the FIR registered with Delhi Police will be in lead.
While giving liberty to the news anchor to approach the Delhi High Court on quashing of the FIRs, the Bench observed that it has not expressed anything on the merits of the matter.
The anchor was booked after Nupur Sharma made some derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad on a programme being moderated by Kumar.
The controversial remarks led to huge uproar, with people staging protests across the country and abroad as well. It even led to a few Islamic nations summoning the Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners. Distancing itself from Nupur and her remarks, the ruling BJP government suspended her.
The comments further led to registration of FIRs against both Sharma and Kumar in various parts of the country.
FIRs were registered against the anchor in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir.
In her petition, Kumar relied on the order passed by the Court in the case of Nupur Sharma, whereby the FIRs, both current and future over the telecast, were clubbed and transferred to Delhi.
Representing the Central government, along with the governments of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta drew the attention of the Apex Court to the order passed in the case of Editor-in-Chief of Republic Media Network, Arnab Goswami, with respect to multiple FIRs.
While Kumar was represented by Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy and Advocate Ravinder Singh appeared for the State of West Bengal.
Case Title: Navika Kumar vs Union of India and ors