Open letter from retired judges and others addresses SC comments on Nupur Sharma plea

An open letter, signed by 15 retired judges, 77 former bureaucrats and 25 army veterans, condemned the “unfortunate and unprecedented comments” made by the two Supreme Court justices – Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala – during BJP hearing Spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s petition for transfer of various FIRs registered against her in different states to Delhi.

The letter called out both judges for exceeding their “Laxman Rekha“, causing shock waves in the country and outside and forcing the signatories to issue an open declaration.

The letter stated that the observations made by the two judges had no jurisprudential connection with the question raised in the request and violated “all the canons of the dispensation of justice”.

Nupur Sharma has been denied justice by the SC bench which is his basic right under Article 20 of the Constitution which prohibits prosecution and punishment more than once for the same offence.

According to the signatories of the letter, the comment made by the SC bench that Nupur Sharma is “solely responsible for what happens in the country” has no basis. By making such an observation, the letter says, the court has all but exonerated “the most despicable beheading in broad daylight” and stoked emotions by diluting the gravity of the horrific act committed in Udaipur.

The letter also raised concerns about the judiciary’s unrestricted comments on other agencies across the country, without giving them any notice.

Signatories slammed the two judges for making innuendo about Sharma’s ‘weight’ and said: ‘The unfortunate comments have no parallels and are an indelible scar on the justice system of the greatest democracy… forcing a petitioner by such damning submissions, finding her guilty without trial, and denial of access to justice on the matter raised in the petition can never be a facet of a democratic society…”

The letter also pointed out that only the Honorable Supreme Court has jurisdiction to transfer or club FIRs/cases registered in other states. However, the two judges refused to take cognizance of Sharma’s petition, forced her to withdraw it and asked her to apply to the appropriate bodies (High Court). “Such an approach,” the letter read, “deserves no applause and impacts on the sanctity and very honor of the highest court in the land.”