Nupur Sharma is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country, says Indian Supreme Court.
A ruling party spokeswoman, Nupur Sharma, whose remarks on Islam embroiled India in a diplomatic row and sparked huge protests should apologise for having "set the country on fire," New Delhi's top court said on Friday.
The top court made the remarks during the hearing of a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member seeking the transfer of the multiple FIRs filed against her across the country to New Delhi, citing threats.
"She and her loose tongue have set the country on fire and her irresponsible remarks shows that she is 'obstinate and arrogant," India's Supreme Court said during a procedural hearing on several criminal complaints filed against Sharma.
"This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country," it added. "She should apologise to the whole nation."
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Sharma, mentioned the plea before a bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala seeking transfer of all FIRs filed against her to Delhi. However, the bench reprimanded Sharma for making irresponsible comments against a religion during a TV debate. It said, "These remarks are very disturbing...shows her arrogance. What is her business to make such remarks?" Singh pointed at the written apology issued by her.
The bench continued with its criticism of Sharma's remarks, saying, "These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents in the country...These people are not religious. They do not have respect for other religions...nefarious agenda...cheap publicity."
The bench questioned the police action in the case. It said, "When you lodge a complaint against someone that person is arrested but nobody dares to touch you...That shows your clout."
The bench also pulled the TV channel for the debate saying, "what was the TV debate about? Only to fan an agenda? Why did they choose a sub-judice topic?" The TV debate was on the issue of Gyanvapi mosque.
The bench added that on her complaint, a person is arrested but despite multiple FIRs she has not been touched by the Delhi police.
The top court also expressed its reservation on Sharma bypassing the lower courts and directly moving the Supreme Court. "The petition smacks of her arrogance, that the magistrates of the country are too small for her," said the bench.
Sharma’s remarks have triggered a strong reaction from across the world, sparking protests in India in which several people lost their lives and heightened the rifts between Hindus and Muslims.
Rallies also erupted around South Asia, with police killing two demonstrators in India, while this week two Muslim men were accused of the grisly murder of a Hindu tailor who had posted in support of Sharma on Facebook.
Since her comments, Sharma has been subjected to multiple police complaints filed against her across India by members of the public.
While the 37-year-old's whereabouts are unknown, her lawyer was in court asking that the cases be consolidated in New Delhi, a request denied on Friday.
Sharma was at one time seen as a rising star in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but her remarks forced it into damage control.
The party soon suspended the spokeswoman from her post and issued a statement insisting it respected all religions.
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