Madhya Pradesh HC reserves order on jailed comedian Munawar Faruqui's bail plea

By Express News Service
BHOPAL: Despite being granted intermit bail by the Supreme Court, comedian Munawar Faruqui is yet to be released from the Jail in Indore with officials citing execution of a warrant issued by a Prayagraj court.

The 30-year-old stand-up comedian could have to spend a couple of days more in the Indore Jail, as the authorities are yet to get official intimation from the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court Prayagraj.

According to a senior official at the MP Jail HQ in Bhopal, “He (Faruqui) has been released in the New Year Day event-related case of Indore in which he was granted interim bail by a division bench of the top court on Friday. He has been released in Indore case, as the SC order pertaining to that case is already with the Indore Jail. The SC in the same order had also stayed the production warrant issued against him by the CJM-Prayagraj (UP) court last month in an April 2020 case, but that order hasn’t been intimated to the Indore Jail from the CJM-Prayagraj court as yet. He can be released finally from the Jail, only when we’ve official intimation about SC order in both the cases.”

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On Friday, a division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai, had ordered Faruqui’s release on ad-interim bail in the Indore case on conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court. The apex court had also stayed the production warrant issued by the CJM-Prayagraj court.

It’s been 36 days since the Mumbai-based Muslim comedian has been lodged in the Indore Jail following the arrest of six men, including him, in a case pertaining to the alleged hurting of Hindu religious sentiments at a New Year’s Day show in Indore’s Chhappan Dukan area.

On ruling BJP MLA Malini Gaur’s son Eklavya Singh Gaur’s complaint on January 1, 2021, the Tukoganj police in Indore had booked Munawar Faruqui and five others under IPC Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings), 269 (negligent act likely to spread disease), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (crime with common intention). The Tukoganj police had arrested the six accused on January 2.

Since then Faruqui’s bail pleas have been rejected by the Indore district and session court as well as the Indore Bench of the MP High Court.

While Faruqui was in judicial custody in the Indore case, the George Town police of UP’s Prayagraj district had obtained a production warrant against Faruqui from CJM-Prayagaraj court in an April 2020 case, in which also Faruqui is accused of making insulting remarks about Hindu deities and union minister Amit Shah.