Stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui, jailed over allegations of “insulting Hindu Gods and Goddesses” during a show, was granted interim bail today by the Supreme Court, which also issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh government.
Munawar Faruqui was denied bail thrice before. The Madhya Pradesh High Court refused to grant him bail on January 28.
A complaint by a BJP MLA’s son that the comedian made objection remarks on Hindu deities in a show in Indore led to his arrest on January 1. Four others were also arrested.
All of them were accused of making “filthy and indecent jokes” about Hindu Gods and Goddesses, as well as Home Minister Amit Shah, according to the complaint by Eklvaya Singh Gaur, the son of a BJP MLA.
“The evidence/material collected so far, suggest that in an organized 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 applicant,” said the High Court order.
Mr Faruqui’s lawyer had argued that he had been invited by the organisers of the show and was present but he had not made any such jokes that day.
But the court rejected it, saying the possibility of more “incriminating material” could not be ruled out as investigations were still on. It also referred to a similar case filed against the comic in Uttar Pradesh and his social media posts.