‘SC remarks on Nupur not in sync with judicial ethos’: Ex-HC judges, veterans

ByAbraham Thomas
Jul 06, 2022 12:52 AM IST

The Supreme Court’s observation that Nupur Sharma was “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country” was a “virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur”, the letter said.

New Delhi: A group of former high court judges, retired bureaucrats and military veterans on Monday urged the Supreme Court to recall its scathing observations against suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma contending that they were not “in sync with judicial ethos” and crossed the “Laxman rekha”.

Former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. (PTI Photo)
Former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. (PTI Photo)

The apex court’s observation that Sharma was “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country” was a “virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur”, the group said in an open letter, referring to the murder of a tailor in the Rajasthan city by two Muslim men, supposedly for supporting Sharma on social media.

On July 1, the top court observed that Sharma’s controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate in May were “single-handedly responsible for putting the entire nation on fire” and even led to the killing of the Udaipur tailor. Sharma must apologise to the entire nation for her “loose tongue” that ignited strong emotions just to fan an agenda, a bench of justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala said, as it junked her request to consider transferring all the first information reports (FIRs) against her to Delhi.

Also read: Nagpur youth, family members receive threats for supporting Nupur Sharma

Terming the court’s comments as “unfortunate and unprecedented”, the group -- comprising 15 former high court judges, 77 retired bureaucrats and 25 military veterans said: “In the annals of judiciary, the unfortunate comments have no parallel and are indelible scar on justice system of the largest democracy. Urgent rectification steps are called for as these have potentially serious consequences on democratic values and security of the country.”

The letter added: “Reflection that she is ‘single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country’ has no rationale. By such observation perceptionally there is virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur in broad daylight.”

The signatories of the letter included former Bombay high court chief justice Kshitij Vyas, former acting chief justice of Gauhati high court K Sreedhar Rao, and retired Delhi high court judge SN Dhingra, among others.

The observations also graduate to the most unjustifiable degree that this was “only to fan an agenda”, said the letter, which was also signed by former Kerala high court judge P N Ravindran and former Kerala chief secretary Anand Bose.

“The democracy of any country will remain intact till all the institutions perform their duties as per the Constitution. Recent comments by the two judges of the Supreme Court have surpassed the laxman rekha and compelled us to issue an open statement,” it added.

The observations of the bench of two judges cannot be “sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness” as these were not part of the petition presented before the justices. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of the judiciary, the signatories said.

Also read: Maharashtra cyber cell identifies ‘17 social media trends’ related to Nupur Sharma in last 4 days

Sharma was “de facto denied access to judiciary” and in the process, “there was an outrage on the preamble, spirit and essence of the Constitution of India”, the letter noted.

The letter also made references to similar reliefs provided by the Supreme Court in the past to journalist Arnab Goswami and wondered why Sharma’s case was treated differently.

“Such an approach of the Supreme Court deserves no applause and impacts the very sanctity and honour of the highest court of land,” the signatories said, referring to the right available to each citizen under Article 20(2), which prohibits prosecution and punishment more than once for the same offence.

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