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Based on SC judgement in Rohit Ranjan case today, two Judges who refused to give relief to Nupur Sharma need to introspect

Author: Nupur J Sharma
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: July 8, 2022
URL:      https://www.opindia.com/2022/07/rohit-ranjan-case-sc-judges-need-to-introspect-over-order-against-nupur-sharma/?s=03

During the hearing, Judges Surya Kant and Pardiwala made several problematic statements that effectively blamed Nupur Sharma for the beheading of Kanhaiya Lal by Islamists, almost exonerating the Islamists from moral culpability, and denied the clubbing of multiple FIRs filed against her.

The Supreme Court today granted the much-deserved relief to Zee News journalist Rohit Ranjan. Ranjan had moved a petition in the Supreme Court asking for the multiple FIRs against him to be clubbed. A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari heard the plea and granted the clubbing of FIRs in this case and also ordered that no coercive action will be taken against Rohit Ranjan.

The court was informed that he was arrested by the Noida police on Tuesday and released on bail. After he was released, now the Chhatisgarh police wants to arrest him. The charges against him are that he shared a video with misleading claims about Rahul Gandhi. Ranjan informed the court that he had retracted the news and even apologised for it on air.

The Judge, in this case, said that since the multiple FIRs against Ranjan were filed in the same matter, the TT Antony case would apply. In the TT Antony case, the court had laid down the law that a second FIR for the same cause of action cannot be filed. It is, therefore, safe to say that in the case of Ranjan, the Supreme Court relied on law and precedent to grant relief to the journalist swiftly and effectively.

However, this was not the case when ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma approached the court for the same relief that has today been granted to Rohit Ranjan. Nupur Sharma appeared before the Supreme Court on the 1st of July 2022 to ask for relief. Her plea was simple – multiple FIRs have been filed against her for the same cause of action, and given the fact that she is under grave threat, the FIRs should be clubbed together so she does not have to travel to different cities in order to cooperate with the investigation.

During the hearing, Judges Surya Kant and Pardiwala made several problematic statements that effectively blamed Nupur Sharma for the beheading of Kanhaiya Lal by Islamists, almost exonerating the Islamists from moral culpability.

Blaming Nupur Sharma for the chaos unleashed by the Islamists and the regressive ideas that ambiguously declare any criticism of the Islamic prophet as ‘blasphemy’, the apex court of the country has surprisingly ignored the hatred and violence unleashed by Islamists and has instead blamed the woman who had stated merely what is written in Islamic hadiths, and affirmed by Islamic scholars all over the world.

The Supreme Court judges said that Nupur Sharma and her “loose tongue” was to be blamed for the chaos in the nation today by Islamists, that she is responsible for the brutal beheading of Kanhaiya Lal and that she should apologise to the nation.

Interestingly, while these comments,that did not make it to the written order, were being made, Nupur Sharma’s lawyer had also mentioned the TT Antony case to the Supreme Court judges.
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Live Law @LiveLawIndia
Replying to @LiveLawIndia

"The way she has ignited emotions across the country... This lady is single handedly responsible for what is happening in the country": Justice Kant.

#NupurSharma #SupremeCourt

Live Law @LiveLawIndia

Singh refers to TT Antony case which held that there can be no second FIR on same cause of action.

Justice Kant: You have the remedy before the High Court. Go and approach the HC if there is a second FIR.

#NupurSharma

Jul 1, 2022

Right after blaming Nupur Sharma for the chaos by Islamists, Justice Surya Kant categorically denied the application of the law laid down in the TT Antony case and asked Nupur Sharma to approach the High Court.

The exchange of arguments that happened after this comment by Justice Surya Kant was even worse.
https://i0.wp.com/www.opindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ll.png?resize=696%2C844&ssl=1

When pointed out that Arnab Goswami was given the same relief by the courts, Judge Kant says that journalists are on a different pedestal compared to spokespersons who are “lambasting others making irresponsible statements”. When said that the law has been laid down for every citizen, shockingly, Justice Kant said that not every citizen is the same and that even Goswami was given “special treatment”.

When pointed out that even businessmen were granted the same relief, justice Kant simply said that his “conscience” was not satisfied and therefore, no relief would be given.
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Live Law @LiveLawIndia
Replying to @LiveLawIndia

Singh: I am not saying don't investigate me if I have done anything wrong. Your lordships have laid down a norm. I should not be treated unequally. My behaviour might be contemptible, your lordships might feel. But I am entitled to equal protection of law.

Live Law @LiveLawIndia

Justice Kant: The conscience of the court is not satisfied. You avail other remedies

Singh: Then your lordship may give me liberty to withdraw.

Liberty given

Jul 1, 2022

The Judges in the Nupur Sharma case willy-nilly refused to apply the law and the precedent that is applied almost uniformly for all – journalists, businessmen and other average citizens. While the Judges exceeded their brief and spoke out of their jurisdiction while passing these observations against Nupur Sharma, the fact that they simply refused to apply the law because they did not like Nupur Sharma or the political ideology she espouses is even more shocking.

The Judiciary is meant to protect every citizen – without fear or favour – whether the judges personally like the defendant or not. In a previous article, I had written that Nupur Sharma would have perhaps been safer if she had appeared in a Sharia court because even there, she would have at least been heard before strictures were passed against her.

With the judgement in the Rohit Ranjan case, Judges Surya Kant and Pardiwala need to introspect on the grave miscarriage of justice at their hands and the precarious, dire situation they have forced upon Nupur Sharma, who is getting death and rape threats.

In the daily news cycle of tweets and reactions, it is incumbent upon the Court to function as an institution in a fearless and fair manner. While the Court does function in a discretionary manner on the writ side, it cannot function in a whimsical manner. The criminal justice system can appropriately deal with the loose tongues of the common people, politicians or media personalities. However, some other loose tongues remain immune.
 
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