Nupur Sharma gets big relief: Supreme Court clubs and transfers all FIRs against Nupur Sharma to Delhi police

The Supreme Court mandated on Wednesday that the Delhi Police be given custody of all current and future FIRs against BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma, who has been suspended for comments she made against the Prophet.

Sharma was also given temporary protection from coercive measures by the justices Surya Kant and J. B. Pardiwala’s panel while the Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) section finished its probe.

For her comments about the Prophet at a TV broadcast on May 26, Sharma has had several FIRs filed against her in several states, including Delhi, West Bengal, and Maharashtra.

“Since this court has already taken cognizance of a serious threat to the life and liberty of the petitioner, and specific instances in relation thereto have been cited in our previous order dated July 19, 2022, besides those contained in the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner today, we direct that all the FIRs…be transferred and clubbed for the purpose of investigation by Delhi Police,” the bench said on Wednesday.

Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, Sharma’s attorney, informed the court that the petitioner had learned of two further FIRs that had been filed against Sharma. He argued that the threat to life was the most crucial factor and requested the court to combine all the FIRs with the one that was filed in Delhi.

Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy, who is representing West Bengal, said that the first FIR in which Sharma was identified as an accused party was the one filed in Maharashtra.

The court gave her relief and instructed the Delhi Police to see that the FIR in Maharashtra and the one filed by its IFSO section are investigated jointly, as well as the other FIRs, in light of the threats mentioned by Sharma.

In response to the uproar after Sharma’s comments, Guruswamy requested the court to form a SIT to investigate the situation. “…There have been various politicians on either side who have come out in support. May I suggest the constitution of a joint SIT with members from different forces,” she said.

However, the bench stated that “since IFSO of Delhi Police appears to be a specialised agency, it shall be appreciated if all the FIRs are investigated by the said unit”.

“The IFSO, as a specialised investigating agency, shall be at liberty to collect… any information if so, required for the purpose of reaching a logical conclusion,” it stated.

Justice Surya Kant rejected West Bengal’s plea for the SC to oversee the inquiry, stating: “Monitoring by the court of investigation of an FIR… even as a High Court judge, I have never appreciated it, because it puts undue and undesirable pressure on the investigative agency. Investigative agencies should have complete faith, trust and independence, and dispassionate atmosphere for investigation.”

The court’s instructions “shall also extend to any other FIR/ complaint which may be registered/ entertained against the petitioner… in respect to the same subject matter… and in that event, the investigation of the FIR or complaint to be registered in future shall also stand transferred to the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police for the purpose of investigation,” the court’s bench stated.

The judge instructed Sharma to go to the Delhi High Court in response to her request that the FIRs be dismissed.

Guruswamy maintained that nothing had changed since the last directive and said, “in terms of the threat, we will give whatever security they need. But the problem here is that they are forum shopping.”

The court stated, “Let’s not create a situation where you are under stress, the entire system is under stress, the states are under stress, the petitioner is under stress,”

The senior lawyer said, “What has happened to the atmosphere of the rule of law and our constitutional democracy by the petitioner’s statements.”

The court declared that it had faith that the federal government, states, and constitutional powers would handle that.

Some states are encouraging this behaviour. This is the issue, according to Guruswamy.

“That issue is not before us. So we will not go into that question,” the bench said.