Supreme Court grants interim bail to comic artist Munawar Faruqui

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman has also issued notices to the governments of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

SC grants interim bail to Munawar Faruqui (Image courtesy: ANI, Facebook)

The Supreme Court of India granted interim bail to stand up comedian Munawar Faruqui, giving relief to the comic artist who has been detained for the past 35 days in Madhya Pradesh in a case for allegedly hurting Hindu religious sentiments and passing objectionably remarks during a show in Indore.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman after granting the bail also issued notices to the governments of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The apex court also issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh Police in the case.

The SC Bench stayed the production warrant issued against Faruqui by the Allahabad court. In its hearing, the Bench noted that Faruqui’s arrest failed to follow the procedure under section 41 CrPC (arrest without warrant). It further noted that after his arrest, the Madhya Pradesh authorities flouted Supreme Court’s 2014 judgment which says that the arrest should adhere to section 41 CrPC. The plea filed by Faruqui seeks to quash several other FIRs lodged against him and club all the FIRs registered in several states.

On January 1, Munawar Faruqui and four other event organisers were arrested for allegedly insulting Hindu deities during a New Year show in Indore. According to ANI, they were also assaulted while they were taken to jail after court proceedings. Faruqui, who is a stand-up comedian from Gujarat’s Junagadh, was arrested after his performance at a cafe in the popular 56 Dukan locality of Indore. The others arrested include Indore-based Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas, Nalin Yadav, and event coordinator Edwin Anthony. The case was filed based on a complaint by Eklavya Gaur, convenor of the Hind Rakshak Sangathan and son of BJP MLA Malini Gaur.

They were all sent to judicial custody till January 13. An Allahabad court had also issued a production warrant against Faruqui in a case of the alleged derogatory depiction of Hindu deities by him on social media. Then on January 28, the Madhya Pradesh High Court denied him bail in the case. Following this, Faruqui moved a writ petition before the Supreme court seeking bail and made governments of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Delhi as parties in the case.

(With inputs from ANI)