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Hate speech case: No coercive action against Nupur Sharma, says SC; fixes her plea for hearing on Aug 10

India News

Granting an interim relief to former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, the Supreme Court Tuesday directed that no coercive action be taken against her in connection with FIRs or complaints filed over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a television channel debate on May 27.

Taking note of the alleged threats to life extended to Sharma after its July 1 order, a bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala also protected her from coercive action in the FIRs/complaints which may be registered or entertained in the future.

While observing that it never wanted Sharma to visit every court for relief, the bench issued notices to the Centre and several states including Delhi, West Bengal, and Maharashtra on her plea and sought their responses by August 10.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on August 10.

On July 1, the same bench had declined to entertain her plea to club FIRs against her in different states with the one in Delhi. The court observed that she has a “loose tongue” and is “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”, including in Udaipur where a tailor was hacked to death for allegedly sharing her remarks. Stating that Sharma should have “apologised to the nation”, the bench had pulled her up for approaching the Supreme Court directly.

However, the remarks against Sharma came under criticism. A group of “concerned citizens”, including 15 former high court judges, wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of India that the observations violate judicial propriety and fairness.

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