Supreme Court transfers all FIRs against stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui to Indore, extends interim bail
The Supreme Court on Monday transferred all FIRs against comedian Munawar Faruqui to Indore. A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sanjay Karol also extended Faruqui’s interim protection for three weeks with regard to the production warrant in Delhi.
The top court clarified that it has not commented on the merits of the plea for quashing and if any plea is filed, it shall be considered as per law on its merits.
The apex court in its order stated, “Taking into consideration the facts and circumstances, and the previous order of this court, we are inclined to transfer all the complaints to Indore. We have already granted ad interim protection, the same is made absolute.”
The top court also granted him protection against the production of warrants by Delhi Police for three weeks. The order of the apex court came on the plea of Faruqui challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court declining his bail and seeking to quash all the FIRs and criminal proceedings against him in the case.
The apex court had on February 5, 2021 released Munawar Faruqui on an interim bail, staying the Madhya Pradesh High Court order under which he was refused release.
Denying him bail, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had then noted that promoting harmony is one of the constitutional duties.
According to the FIR, the comedy show, where the remarks now under scrutiny were made, was held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on January 1, 2021.
Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaud, had filed a complaint against Faruqui and others.
Gaud in his complaint said that he and some of his associates had gone to watch a show where jokes were made about Hindu gods and goddesses and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and he forced the organisers to stop the event.
Faruqui and others were arrested for the alleged offences punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including section 295-A which deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class.
They were also accused of holding the show amid COVID-19 pandemic without permission and were booked under other relevant provisions of the IPC.