Updated: January 26, 2021 9:10:13 am
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday reserved its order on the bail application of comedian Munawar Faruqui and Indore resident Nalin Yadav, who were arrested on January 1 following complaints of allegedly hurting Hindu religious sentiments during a comedy show in Indore on January 1.
Before a single bench of Indore High Court presided by Justice Rohit Arya on Monday, Munawar’s advocate Vivek Tankha along with Anshuman Shrivastav argued that the comedian has not uttered a word at the event for which he can be punished.
“We argued before the court that since Munawar has not said anything against anyone as far as the present FIR is concerned, then his right guaranteed under Article 21 and 19 should be protected. But the police have registered the case without any justifiable ground,” Shrivastav told The Indian Express.
However, the state government’s counsel opposed the plea saying the probe is underway. Additional Advocate General Pushyamitra Bhargava said, “The state has heavily opposed the bail plea as the investigation is going on. The act of the accused is very serious and releasing him before the investigation will affect the investigation.” Asked about the defence argument that Munawar did not make any such remarks, Bhargava said “it is all a matter of investigation”.
The High Court had adjourned the hearing on January 15 with the case diary not available. The matter came up for hearing 10 days later on January 25 despite an application filed by Munawar’s advocate requesting an urgent hearing.
The bail plea was rejected on January 5 by a sessions court while Munawar’s judicial custody was extended by another two weeks on January 13.
The High Court has asked all those objecting to the bail plea to submit their objections in writing, including Eklavya Singh Gaur’s lawyer, Rajesh Joshi. “We have told the court that a wrong message will be sent out to society if Munawar is granted bail as he has a similar case registered against him in UP… Besides, he is a habitual offender and had made jokes on Hindu deities in previous shows,” Joshi said.
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