Despite SC order, comedian Munawar Faruqui still in jail

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(Eds: Updating) Indore, Feb 6 (PTI) Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui failed to walk out of jail on Saturday despite the Supreme Court granting him bail as prison officials cited a warrant issued by a Prayagraj court against him.

Arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, Faruqui is in Indore jail since January 1.

On Friday, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail after the Madhya Pradesh High Court had rejected his bail plea on January 28. The Apex court also stayed the production warrant issued against Faruqui by a court in Prayagraj in connection with an FIR lodged there.

Faruqui's lawyers on Saturday submitted a copy of the SC order in the local court, which then directed that he be released on a bond of Rs 50,000 and same amount of security.

But he was not released. Asked for the reason, an official of the Indore Central Jail said a court in Prayagraj had ordered Faruqui's production in a similar case on February 18.

Citing the jail manual, he said an order from the Prayagraj court or a competent government officer was needed to release him.

The comedian will be taken to Prayagraj on Sunday morning if they did not get the requisite order, he said.

Before that, he will undergo a COVID-19 test, the official said.

Faruqui's cousin Zaid Pathan said they were disappointed by the jail administration's stand.

'Our belief in judiciary was strengthened after the Supreme Court order,' he said.

Faruqui and four others were arrested on January 1 following a complaint by a BJP MLA's son that objectionable remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were passed during a comedy show at a cafe in Indore on New Year's day. PTI HWP LAL NSK KRK KRK