The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail to comedian Munawar Faruqui who was arrested by the Indore police last month for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Hindu Gods during an act. The top court stayed the production warrant in an FIR filed by the Uttar Pradesh police and issued notice on a plea seeking to quash all FIRs.
A production warrant is issued if an accused in a trial or a witness is already in prison.
Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, who was representing Faruqui, argued that "this is a case of victimisation". The bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman, however, sought to know if guidelines for arrest as laid down in the landmark 2014 Arnesh Kumar judgment was followed by the police.
"If that is not followed, then it is good enough," Justice Nariman said and proceeded to issue notice when the reply from the counsels was a vehement "not at all".
Attempt to outrage religious feelings under the "garb of standup comedy": Madhya Pradesh HC
MP HC on January 28 denied Faruqui bail. In his order, Justice Rohit Arya had observed that a deliberate attempt was made to outrage religious feelings under the "garb of standup comedy."
Justice Arya had further observed that complainant Eklayvya Gaur had specifically asserted that Faruqui along with other co-accused persons allegedly made "outraging filthy jokes in social media deliberately against Hindu Gods, Lord Shriram and Goddess Seeta hurting religious sentiments of Hindus for the last 18 months despite protest on various social media platforms."
"There is nothing on record to the contrary," Justice Arya's order had read. "Further, it has come on record that similar nature of offence has been registered against the applicant at Police Station Georgetown, Prayagraj, State of Uttar Pradesh," it added. "In light of witnesses statements and the video footage of the show, At this stage Faruqui's "complacency" cannot be ruled out besides the "vulnerability of his acts in public domain", Justice Arya observed.
The high court's verdict came on Faruqui and organiser Nalin Yadav's plea seeking bail. Indore Police had arrested the 29-year-old comedian on January 2. On January 1, Gaur, who is BJP MLA Malini Gaur's son had interrupted Faruqui's show leading to the comedian's detention and subsequent arrest.
Faruqui had yet to perform his skit.
Faruqui was charged with hurting religious sentiments and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code. On January 25, Justice Rohit Arya had observed: "But why you take undue advantage of other's religious sentiments and emotions. What is wrong with your mindset? How can you do this for the purpose of business?"
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?