Sunday, September 25, 2022

Nupur Sharma plea: Supreme Court transfers all FIRs to Delhi

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The Supreme Court has agreed to the plea of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma to club all FIRs filed against her in multiple states so that she does not have to go to different places in view of the threats against her.

The Supreme Court has transferred all present and future FIRs against Nupur Sharma pertaining to May 26 telecast to Delhi Police. It has also rejected the plea for a court-monitored SIT investigation.

During the hearing on Wednesday before the bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Nupur Sharma’s counsel Senior Advocate Maninder Singh said even after the Supreme Court July 19 order, two more FIRs have been registered.

The bench then said it will club the cases and transfer them to one place and ask them to continue the investigation in the FIR. Singh said in the FIR registered in Delhi, Nupur Sharma had lodged an FIR against unknown people. In this, he himself is the complainant.

A lawyer said the first FIR against Nupur Sharma was registered in Mumbai. Maninder Singh drew attention of the bench to the fact that Nupur Sharma’s life was in danger.

On this, Justice Suryakant said we are transferring all the FIRs to Delhi. Delhi Police will investigate the matter. If the police of any other state where the FIR has been registered, they can give their suggestions during the investigation.

Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy, appearing for the West Bengal government,  protested that how can the accused be allowed to choose jurisdiction? Maninder Singh replied that the first FIR was registered in Delhi. Guruswamy intervened saying earlier the plea demanding transfer of all the FIRs to Delhi have been rejected once. Better make a joint Special Investigation Team with states, she said.

Justice Suryakant said due to security reasons, it is not possible for Nupur Sharma to go to courts across the country. Guruswamy replied that if it is a matter of danger, we will give security.

Justice Suryakant said they were not contemplating to quash the FIR. We are talking of investigation by clubbing all the FIRs with similar allegations only. We can order the Delhi Police Commissioner to constitute an SIT and conduct an investigation.

The bench said that if you want SIT then we can ask Delhi Police to make SIT but noted that an SIT investigation under court supervision will add pressure on SIT due to court monitoring and it was not inclined to do so. While transferring the FIRs to Delhi Police’s IFSO unit, which will investigate the matter, Justice Suryakant said we do not want to put any condition on the investigating agencies. If IFSO feels that some assistance is required or information is required from state agencies, they can take assistance for the same. At the same time, the Court upheld the relief from arrest given to Nupur Sharma till the investigation is completed.

The Apex Court said if new FIRs are registered against her, then the protection against arrest will apply on those FIRs as well and they will be transferred to Delhi Police.

The Court asked Nupur Sharma to file a petition in the Delhi High Court on the demand for quashing FIRs registered against her.

Nupur Sharma was suspended by the BJP in June after comments about Prophet Muhammad which triggered huge protests in India and other Islamic nations. First Information Reports, or FIRs, against her have been filed in multiple states.

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