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New Delhi [India], August 8 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim protection to Times Now anchor Navika Kumar from any coercive action in connection with the FIRs and complaints registered against her in several states over remarks made by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammed during a debate aired by the channel.

A bench comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli also issued notices to state governments on a plea by Kumar, who sought quashing of multiple FIRs lodged against her over the remarks made in the debate that she had anchored on May 26.

"Issue notice. Returnable within two weeks. Meanwhile, as an interim measure, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned FIRs/complaints or future FIRs/complaints which may be registered with respect to the broadcast of May 26," the bench said in its order.

At the outset, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kumar told the bench that a debate was happening on the Gyanvapi Mosque and Kumar even tried to "douse the fire".

Rohatgi also sought a stay on the investigation into the FIRs, which the bench declined saying no such order can be passed without hearing the states.

"In the particular debate, the anchor had said nothing. The debate was about the Gyanvapi Mosque and suddenly one said something and then another retorted. The petitioner had doused the fire. The lady who had said something is facing flak from several FIRs. I have not said anything but now I face five or six FIRs in Kolkata alone," Rohatgi said while representing Kumar.

He further apprised the bench that the first case was registered in Delhi and sought clubbing of the other cases with the Delhi FIR.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy appearing for the state of West Bengal contended that the first FIR was registered in Kolkata and the FIR in Delhi was not related to the concerned broadcast.

The apex court was hearing Kumar's plea seeking quashing of criminal proceedings initiated against her in several states.

In her plea, Kumar has sought that either the FIRs against her should be quashed, or they be clubbed together and transferred to Delhi.

The apex court on July 19 provided interim relief to Nupur Sharma and directed that no coercive steps be taken against her in the multiple FIRs registered against her in several states over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed during the television debate. (ANI)

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