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Nupur Sharma remarks row: Open letter to CJI NV Ramana flays Supreme Court's observations against suspended BJP leader

An open letter has been sent to CJI NV Ramana, signed by 15 retired judges, 77 retired bureaucrats and  25 retired armed forces officers, against the observation made by Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala while hearing Nupur Sharma's case in the Supreme Court on July 1.

  • An open letter written to CJI has criticised the recent SC observations against suspended BJP member Nupur Sharma
  • The letter alleged that the apex court surpassed the "Laxman Rekha" and called for "urgent rectification" steps
  • The SC castigated Nupur Sharma for comments on Prophet Muhammad, saying her remarks are disturbing and smack of arrogance

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Nupur Sharma remarks row: Open letter to CJI NV Ramana flays Supreme Court's observations against suspended BJP leader Zee News Image

New Delhi: A group of former judges, bureaucrats and retired armed forces officers have criticised the recent Supreme Court observations against suspended BJP member Nupur Sharma. In an open letter sent to CJI NV Ramana, they have alleged that the apex court surpassed the "Laxman Rekha" and called for "urgent rectification" steps. Notably, the top court on July 1 castigated Nupur Sharma for comments on Prophet Muhammad, saying her remarks are disturbing and smack of arrogance. Referring to her apology for her comment against Prophet Mohammad, the SC bench had said that it was too late and her remark led to unfortunate incidents.

An open letter has been sent to CJI NV Ramana, signed by 15 retired judges, 77 retired bureaucrats and  25 retired armed forces officers, against the observation made by Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala while hearing Nupur Sharma's case in the Supreme Court.

The letter stated that the roster of Justice Surya Kant be withdrawn till he attains superannuation and least be directed to withdraw the remarks and observations made by him during the hearing of the Nupur Sharma case.

The open letter by the organisation 'Forum for Human Rights and Social Justice, J&K and Ladakh at Jammu' demands the roster of Justice Surya Kant be withdrawn till he attains superannuation and at least be directed to withdraw the remarks and observations made by him during the hearing.

According to the statement, "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." 

Also read: 'These remarks were made for cheap publicity or for political....':Supreme Court 

The statement was signed by 15 former judges, 77 ex-all India services officers and 25 veterans including former chief justice of the Bombay High Court Kshitij Vyas, former Gujarat High Court judge S M Soni, former Rajasthan High Court judges R S Rathore and Prashant Agarwal and former Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra. Former IAS officers R S Gopalan and S Krishna Kumar, ambassador (retired) Niranjan Desai, former DGPs S P Vaid and B L Vohra, Lt Gen V K Chaturvedi (retired) and Air Marshall (retired) S P Singh have also signed the statement which said the SC observations are not in sync with judicial ethos.

The statement said, "By no stretch these observations, which are not part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of Judiciary." 

On July 1, the Supreme Court came down heavily on Nupuir Sharma for her controversial comments against Prophet Mohammad, saying her "loose tongue" has "set the entire country on fire" and that she is "single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country". The top court had refused to entertain Nupur's plea for clubbing of FIRs lodged in various states against her for the remark, and held that the comment was made either for cheap publicity, political agenda or some nefarious activities.

Also read: Nupur Sharma case: Why no FIR against TV anchor, asks SC, questions Delhi Police

Criticising the SC's observations, the statement said, "We, as concerned citizens, do believe that 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 further claimed that these "unfortunate and unprecedented" comments have sent shockwaves in the country and outside.

Noting that Nupur Sharma sought access to the justice system before the highest court, the statement said the court's observations have no connect jurisprudentially with the issue raised in the petition and "transgressed in an unprecedented manner all canons of the dispensation of justice", adding "She was defacto denied access to judiciary and in the process, there was an outrage on the preamble, spirit and essence of the Constitution of India."

It further said, "Legal fraternity is bound to be surprised and shocked at the observation that an FIR should lead to arrest. The observations on other agencies in the country, without notice to them, are indeed worrisome and alarming." The signatories also defended Sharma's plea for clubbing all FIRs against her citing previous orders of the apex court.

It may be noted here that Nupur Sharma's comments against the Prophet during a TV debate had triggered protests across the country and drew sharp reactions from many Gulf countries. The BJP subsequently suspended her from the party. The top court had also pulled up the Delhi Police saying, "What has happened in the investigation so far? What has Delhi Police done so far? Don't make us open our mouth? They must have put a red carpet for you."

(With ANI/PTI Inputs)