Updated: February 5, 2021 8:47:40 am
The Supreme Court will on Friday take up standup comic Munawar Faruqui’s plea challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court order rejecting his bail application in a case accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.
Faruqui has filed a writ petition as well as a Special Leave to Appeal (SLP), and both will be heard by a bench of Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai.
Rejecting the bail pleas of Faruqui and co-accused Nalin Yadav on January 28, the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh HC had observed that evidence collected until now shows that “outraging religious feelings of a class of citizens of India with deliberate intendment” were made by the applicants. The HC said, “The evidence/material collected so far suggest that in an organised public show under the garb of standup comedy at a public place on commercial lines, prima facie; scurrilous, disparaging utterances, outraging religious feelings of a class of citizens of India with deliberate intendment were made by the applicants.”
A single-judge bench of Justice Rohit Arya observed that “be that as it may, this Court refrains from commenting upon contentions of the parties touching on merits but, regard being had to the material seized and the statements of the witnesses and that the investigation is in progress, no case is made out for grant of bail.”
Dismissing the bail applications, the HC observed: “There is also a specific assertion by the learned counsel for the complainant that the applicant along with other co-accused persons allegedly making outraging filthy jokes in social media deliberately against Hindu Gods, Lord Shri Ram and Goddess Sita hurting religious sentiments of Hindus for the last 18 months despite, protest on various social media platforms. There is nothing on record to the contrary.”
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