Prophet Remarks: SC Grants Navika Kumar Protection from Coercive Action for 8 Weeks

The apex court directed that all current and future FIRs against the anchor be transferred to the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit under the special cell of the Delhi Police.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that no coercive action can be taken in the next eight weeks Lagainst news anchor Navika Kumar over the FIRs lodged against her following a BJP spokesperson’s comments against Prophet Mohammed in a debate Kumar was hosting.

The apex court had granted Kumar interim protection in this regard in August.

The bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Krishna Murari also directed that all FIRs registered against Kumar and which could be registered against her in future be transferred to the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit under the special cell of the Delhi Police.

LiveLaw has reported that the bench ordered that its direction will be applicable to future FIRs which may be registered with respect to the same telecast.

The Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit will now be tasked with investigating the complaints. All subsequent complaints will also have to be forwarded to the same unit, according to the Supreme Court’s order.

LiveLaw has reported that while the apex court has granted Kumar this relief, it has clarified that it has not “expressed anything on the merits of the matter”.

The Supreme Court asked her to seek quashing of the FIRs against her at the Delhi high court.

The apex court is reported to have relied on the same court’s grant of relief to the BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, when it came to FIRs lodged against her over her remarks on Kumar’s TV show.

The Supreme Court in July granted Sharma protection from coercive action until she could find a remedy to make the case for the FIRs to be clubbed.

Sharma’s comments against Prophet Mohammed in a TV show on May 26 had led to nationwide protests, diplomatic backlash from no fewer than 20 countries and global bodies, and her eventual suspension from BJP.

In an earlier hearing, the bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala had told her: “These remarks are very disturbing and smack of arrogance. What is her business to make such remarks? These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents in the country…These people are not religious. They do not have respect for other religions. These remarks were made for cheap publicity or political agenda or some other nefarious activities.”

The court’s observations against the suspended BJP leader had come in the backdrop of the brutal murder of a tailor in Udaipur by two men, who had posted videos online, claiming that they were avenging an insult to Islam.