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‘Infers Dangerous Scenario’ : SC Judge who heard Nupur Sharma’s plea condemns ‘personal attacks’

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice JB Pardiwala, who was part of the panel that condemned suspended BJP politician Nupur Sharma for her Prophet remarks, criticised ‘personal assaults’ on judges for their decisions. ‘ Personal assaults on judges for their decisions create a perilous environment in which judges must consider what the media thinks rather than what the law truly believes,’ Justice Pardiwala stated. The judge’s scathing remarks come two days after social media erupted in response to the Supreme Court’s harsh oral observations against Sharma. The Supreme Court ruled that her ‘loose mouth ‘had ‘put the entire country on fire,’ and that she should apologise to the country.

The judge further stated at the second Justice HR Khanna Memorial National Symposium that in India, social media is inevitably exploited to ‘politicise strictly legal and constitutional concerns.  In India, which cannot be described as a fully mature or defined democracy,’ he observed, ‘social media is regularly used to politicise simply legal and constitutional matters.  The greatest defining element of Indian democracy is the rule of law; popular opinion must be submissive to the rule of law.  We’re the guardians of the rights, and we have to tell people things they don’t like… Judicial rulings cannot be reflections of the impact of popular opinion,’ the judge observed when discussing Vox Populi vs. Rule of Law.

He claims that digital media trials are an unfair interference in the court system. ‘Having crossed that ‘Lakshman rekha’ many times, this is especially concerning,’ the judge, who was recently elevated to the Supreme Court, said at an event organised by Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, and National Law University, Odisha, in collaboration with the Confederation of Alumni for National Law Universities (CAN Foundation).

To maintain the rule of law under our Constitution, digital and social media must be mandated throughout the country…, he stated. It takes tremendous judicial skill to walk the tightrope between the two, which is where people wonder log kya kahenge, log kya sochenge’ (What will people say, what will people think) is an enigma that haunts each and every judge whenever he has to jot down a ruling, he added. He stated that internet and social media contain only half-truths and begin scrutinizing the legal process.

On Friday, a vacation bench comprised of Justices Surya Kant and Pardiwala strongly rebuked Sharma for her anti-Muslim remarks, stating her ‘loose tongue’ had ‘put the entire country on fire’ and that she is ‘solely accountable for what is occurring in the country.’

The Supreme Court also denied Sharma’s request for the clubbing of FIRs filed against her in multiple states in connection with the statement. The judges determined that the statement was intended for cheap publicity, a political objective, or other malevolent purposes. ‘ She genuinely has a loose tongue and has made a number of foolish remarks on television, setting the entire country on fire.  Despite this, she claims to be a lawyer with ten years of experience… She should have immediately apologised for her comments to the whole country,’ the court said.

‘Does she pose a security risk or has she become one? Because of the manner she has sparked sentiments across the nation, this woman is solely accountable for what is occurring in the country,’ the court stated when Sharma’s counsel, Maninder Singh, pointed out that she was getting life threats. Sharma’s statements during a television discussion provoked nationwide demonstrations and garnered angry reactions from a variety of sources, including numerous Gulf nations. Following that, the BJP suspended her from main membership.


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