MP: Comedian Munawar Faruqui yet to be released from jail

·2-min read

Indore, Feb 6 (PTI) A day after he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in a case for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by passing objectionable remarks about Hindu deities during a show, comedian Munawar Faruqui was not released from the central jail here on Saturday with officials citing execution of a warrant issued by a Prayagraj court.

The top court had also stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order of January 28, which had refused to grant Faruqui the bail noting that to 'promote harmony' is one of the constitutional duties.

It also stayed the production warrant issued against Faruqui by a trial court in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the FIR lodged in the state.

Counsels of the comedian on Saturday submitted the order of the apex court in the Indore court, which directed that comedian be released on a bond of Rs 50,000 and the similar amount of security.

Asked why Faruqui was not released from the jail, an officer 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 is needed to release Faruqui.

The officer said Faruqui will be taken to Prayagraj on Sunday morning if they don't get the requisite order.

Before that, a COVID-19 test will be conducted on him, he added.

Meanwhile, Faruqui's cousin Zaid Pathan said they are disappointed with the stand of the jail administration.

'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.

One more person was arrested subsequently. However, he was not released.

Earlier, the lower court on two occasions and the Indore bench of the MP High Court had denied bail to the comedian.

As per the First Information Report, the comedy show was held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on January 1.

Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of local BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaud, had filed a complaint against Faruqui and others.

Faruqui and others were arrested under IPC section 295-A (outraging religious feelings). They were also accused of holding the show amid COVID-19 pandemic without permission and were booked under section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), and other relevant provisions. PTI HWP LAL NSK NSK