Fifteen retired Judges of High Courts, Seventy-Seven retired bureaucrats and Twenty Five retired Armed Forces officers have issued an open statement criticizing the oral remarks made by the Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J. B. Pardiwala while hearing the plea by Nupur Sharma.

"Legal fraternity is bound to be surprised and shocked at the observation that an FIR should lead to arrest. The observations on other agencies in the country, without notice to them, are indeed worrisome and alarming", the statement says.

The open statement states that the two judges have "surpassed the Laxman Rekha" and that, "by no stretch these observations, which are not part of the judicial Order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of Judiciary."

"Emotions have flared up extensively on account of these observations that in a sense dilute the barbaric dastardly beheading in broad daylight in Udaipur – a case under investigation", the statement says.

The statement also says that "the unfortunate comments have no parallel and are indelible scar on justice system of the largest democracy….. The observations, judgmental in nature, on issues not before the Court, are crucification of the essence and spirit of the Indian Constitution. Forcing a petitioner by such damning observations, pronouncing her guilty without trial, and denial of access to justice on issue raised in the petition, can never be a facet of a democratic society."

The fifteen judges who have signed the open statement are:-

1 Justice Kshitij Vyas -Former Chief Justice, Mumbai High Court

2 Justice S M Soni -Ex-Judge, Gujarat High Court & Lokayukt

3 Justice K Sreedhar Rao -Ex-Chief Justice (Actg), Gauhati High Court

4 Justice Kameshwar Nath -Ex Judge, Lucknow High Court & Lokayukt

5 Justice R.S Rathore -Former Judge, Rajastan High Court

6 Justice Prashant Agarwal -Former Judge, Rajastan High Court

7 Justice M S Parikh -Former Judge, Gujarat High Court

8 Justice P.N. Ravindran -Former Judge, Kerala High Court

9 Justice S N Dhingra -Former Judge, Delhi High Court

10 Justice Dr B Siva Sankara -Former judge, Telengana High Court

11 Justice R K Saksena -Former judge, MP High Court

12 Justice M C Garg -Former Judge, Delhi

13 Justice R.K Marthiya -Former Judge, Jharkhand High Court

14 Justice S N Srivastav -Former Judge, Allahabad High Court

15 Justice Sunil Hali -Former Judge, J&K High Court

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J. B. Pardiwala had dismissed Nupur Sharma's plea stating that the Petitioner is "permitted to withdraw the present writ petition with liberty to avail the alternate remedies available under the law", after making controversial remarks on the merits of the case against Sharma.

Click here to read/download the Open Statement