New Delhi: The All India Bar Association (AIBA) today requested the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India to reject “all attempts to make an issue out of Constitutionally free-willed remarks made in the national interest by a Hon’ble division bench of the Court” while hearing a petition filed by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma on July 1, 2022.
Sharma had filed a transfer application in the Supreme Court, seeking transfer of all the cases against her in different states to Delhi over her controversial statement on the Prophet. She had claimed that her life was in danger due to constant threats. However, the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala refused to entertain her plea and allowed her to withdraw the petition on July 1, 2022. The bench also termed Sharma a “loose tongue” and said her remarks were “very disturbing” and smacked of arrogance. “These remarks were made for cheap publicity or for political agenda or some other nefarious activities,” the bench remarked and remarked that she should be “apologising to the whole country.”
AIBA urged the Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana to not take any cognizance of any letter or petition seeking withdrawal of those adverse remarks made by the division bench of the Supreme Court while declining Sharma’s plea to club all FIRs against her in that regard following her controversial remarks against the Prophet.
“Hon’ble judges on the bench, anguished by the public order disturbance and security threat triggered by Ms. Sharma’s remarks, made some important and timely remarks which are conscientious and in the national interest,” the AIBA stated, and “unequivocally rejected” the demand in certain quarters for ‘expunging’ of oral observations made by a bench of the Supreme Court in the Nupur Sharma case.
Mentioning that the Supreme Court is the Constitutional court of the land and has all the powers and authority to speak what appeals to its judicial conscience and mind, the AIBA warned that any attempts from any quarter of the society, much less the legal fraternity, to undermine the Constitutional morality of the Supreme Court will damage the very fundamental fabric of the judicial system.
“The Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India should never allow any invisible hands to weaken its moral power and authority,” it said. AIBA requested the CJI to hear the Association before passing any order on any letter petition seeking expunging of the oral remarks.
Dr Adish C Aggarwala, Senior Advocate and Chairman of All India Bar Association, in a letter to the Chief Justice, said the Bench had sent a categorical message to the society at large by pulling up Sharma, who is a lawyer of 20 years standing at the Bar, that public personalities and spokespersons of political parties should be more careful not to hurt the religious feelings of anyone. “In that view of the matter, the Hon’ble Bench has done its Constitutional duty with aplomb. It is the sovereign duty of the judiciary to insulate the secular fabric of this nation from being damaged by irresponsible acts of public figures,” the letter said.
“The legal fraternity welcomes the observations made by the Hon’ble Justices, as they are directed at hate-mongers trying to divide the nation on religious grounds. India can become a powerful and developed nation only if stern action is taken against such hate-mongers irrespective of their religion,” it stated.
AIBA declared that while hearing cases, especially the types of ones which Sharma had brought about before it, Constitutional courts cannot maintain Sphinx-like silence nor stay cold and emotionless. “It is absolutely normal for judges to exhort counsel from parading all information necessary for a fair adjudication of the issue brought before them, and raise queries, doubts and even rap on the knuckles of arguing counsel for the purpose of fair and impartial resolution of the dispute,” it observed. It pointed out that taking umbrage at such oral queries and remarks, and then filing petitions and sending letters to ‘expunge’ those remarks is not known in law. “How can an oral remark become a cause of action for a fresh petition, and any order be passed?” it asked and requested the Chief Justice to reject any call or letter or petition to ‘expunge’ oral remarks made by the Division Bench of the apex court. The demands are untenable, unethical, unconstitutional and unprofessional.
It demanded that instead, in matters pertaining to state as well as disturbance to public tranquillity, public order and national integration, judicial directions should be issued to investigation agencies to complete the probe within one month and the trial should also be completed within one month. “Speedy investigation and trial will be helpful in combating such crimes,” it asserted.
– global bihari bureau