New Delhi, July 1: A Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Surya Kant, had on Wednesday declined to stay the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, after which Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray quit. On Friday, the same bench minced no words in slamming former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in connection with her remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
On June 29, the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala — after hearing counsel of Shiv Sena, rebel MLAs, Eknath Shinde, and the Governor for over three hours in a late evening court hearing – said: “We do not find any ground to stay convening of the special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha on June 30, 2022 i.e, tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the only agenda of a trust vote.”
“The proceedings of the trust vote to be convened on June 30, shall be subject to the final outcome of the instant Writ Petition as well the Writ Petitions referred to above.”
The top court’s order came on a plea by Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu terming Governor’s direction to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test and prove its majority in the House on Thursday (June 30), as illegal, claiming the Governor didn’t take into account Deputy Speaker’s disqualification notices to 16 rebel MLAs.
Thackeray resigned soon after the top court’s order.
On Friday, the same bench took up a plea filed by Sharma seeking transfer of several FIRs, registered against her in many states for alleged remarks on the Prophet, to Delhi for investigation. Sharma contended she is facing life threats from unsocial elements despite withdrawing her comments.
However, the bench noted that Sharma apparently appeared before the court under a “deceptive name”.
As senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Sharma, replied she has a threat, Justice Surya Kant remarked: “She has a threat or she has become a security threat?”
“The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country,” the bench added.
It said the remarks show she is obstinate and arrogant, and queried, “if you are a spokesperson, you have got license to make statements?… sometimes power goes to the head”.
Singh said that there are multiple FIRs lodged in various parts of the country and her client is an advocate with over 10 years of practice, as he noted during the debate, the foundation was laid for a mischievous provocation and cited top court’s judgments ordering clubbing of FIRs in the same alleged offence. “All I am asking is for an investigation done at one place…,” said Singh.
At this, the bench queried what has been done in an FIR registered with Delhi Police so far.
“They must be red carpeting for you….”.
Singh said his client has joined the investigation and also cited the top court’s order in businessman Satinder Singh Bhasin case where multiple FIRs were clubbed into a single FIR.
The bench then questioned the police action in the case. “When you lodge a complaint against someone that person is arrested but nobody dares to touch you…That shows your clout.”
It declined to entertain Sharma’s plea and her counsel withdrew it from the court.