The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court will on Thursday, 28 January, deliver its judgment on the bail plea filed by Munawar Faruqui and Nalin Yadav. 29-year-old Munawar was arrested by Madhya Pradesh’s Indore Police on 2 January, a day after he was detained from Monroe Cafe on 1 January.
His show had been interrupted by BJP MLA Malini Gaur’s son Eklavya Singh Gaur. Gaur is also the convenor of the local Hindutva outfit, Hindu Rakshak. Munawar had not spoken on this show yet, the interruptions led to his detention and subsequent arrest.
By 3 January, Faruqui and five others were arrested on charges under Section 295-A (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 269 (negligent act likely to cause spread of disease), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
Faruqui moved a plea in the Madhya Pradesh High Court which came up for hearing on Friday, 15 January, but after the Indore Police failed to produce the right documents, the case was adjourned by the high court to 25 January.
Two bail pleas filed by Faruqui’s lawyers have been rejected. This was the third bail plea and the first one in the state’s in high court where on 25 January, Justice Rohit Arya said at the outset, "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?”
The hearing, that was reported by LiveLaw, lasted barely fifteen minutes.
The judge then went on to ask Senior Advocate advocate Vivek Tankha if he wanted to withdraw the application or not. "He has committed no offence in the matter your lordships. Bail should be granted", Tankha submitted, as reported by Livelaw. The judge reserved his order on the bail plea for later.
The MP Police has told several publications that they or the complainant do not have any evidence of Faruqui hurting any religious sentiments. Gaur claimed he had ‘overheard’ Munawar rehearsing the jokes.
(With inputs from LiveLaw)
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