In a relief to journalist Navika Kumar, the Supreme Court on Friday clubbed and transferred to the Delhi Police all FIRs registered against the news anchor over the controversial remarks made by ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad during a TV debate moderated by her.
The top court noted that FIRs in the case of Sharma have also been transferred to IFSO Unit of Delhi Police for investigation and there cannot be two investigating agencies with respect to the same complaints arising out of the same incident.
A bench of Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari said no coercive action shall be taken against Kumar for a period of eight weeks so she can avail remedies in the interim period.
“The IFSO unit of Delhi Police shall be at liberty to collect and gather any information from the concerned State agencies, if so required, for the purpose of conducting a thorough investigation and taking it to its logical conclusion.
“The investigation of any subsequent FIRs/complaints which are registered in future in respect of the same Newshour Debate telecast on Times Now shall also stand transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi police,” the bench said.
The apex court granted her liberty to approach the Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIR and said as and when such proceedings are instituted by Kumar, the same shall be considered in accordance with law and on their own merit.
“We clarify and make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the allegations contained in the various FIRs/complaints,” the bench said.
The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police will probe the matter.
The apex court had on August 8 granted interim protection from arrest to Kumar and issued notices to the Centre, the West Bengal government, and others on her plea seeking quashing of proceedings initiated against her.
Sharma’s remark on the Prophet during a TV debate had triggered protests across the country and drawn sharp reactions from many Gulf countries. The BJP subsequently suspended her.
The top court had in July granted interim protection from arrest to Sharma in connection with the FIRs/complaints filed against her in several states.
It had also protected her from any coercive action with regard to FIRs/complaints which may be registered or entertained in the future over the May 26 telecast.
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