In a major development, the Supreme Court of India granted interim bail to ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqi on Saturday. Faruqi was accused of mocking Hindu deities, making defamatory comments about the RSS and Home Minister Amit Shah and whitewashing the Godhra carnage.
Bar and Bench reported that a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman granted interim bail to the accused and also stayed the production warrant by the Uttar Pradesh police. Justice Nariman noted that the guidelines laid out in Arunesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar (2014) were not followed in Munawar Faruqi’s case. Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, representing Munawar Faruqi in the apex court, said, “This is a case of victimisation.”
BREAKING: Supreme court grants interim bail to Munawar Faruqui#supremecourt— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) February 5, 2021
On Thursday, Faruqi moved the apex Court against the order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on January 28. The High Court had denied bail to the ‘comedian’ and emphasised that promoting harmony was one of the key constitutional duties.
Munawar Faruqui and 4 others arrested for indecent remarks on Hindu gods
Faruqui and four other persons identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav were arrested for mocking Hindu Gods in a stand-up comedy show in Indore based on the complaint of Eklavya Singh Gaur, an activist and the chief of Hindu Rakshak Sangathan.
They were booked under IPC sections 295-A (outraging religious feelings), 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other relevant provisions. Section 269 was invoked for allegedly ignoring COVID-19 safety protocol. Faruqui was sent to judicial custody till January 13 which was later extended to January 27.
During a show in April last year, Munawar Faruqui mocked the 2002 Godhra carnage where 58 Hindus returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive by a Muslim mob. In a part of the clip that had gone viral on social media, one can hear him refer to the carnage as a fictional film ‘directed’ by Amit Shah and ‘produced’ by RSS.