Stand-up Comedian Munawar Faruqui's third Bail Plea has been rejected by the MP High Court on Thursday. Munawar Faruqui was arrested by Madhya Pradesh’s Indore Police on 2 January for allegedly making derogatory comments about Hindu deities during his comedy show.
The judge has primarily relied on statements by the witnesses in the case, particularly the complainant Eklavya Singh Gaur (son of BJP MLA Malini Gaur and leader of a local Hindutva oufit), and one Kunal.
In Gaur’s statement under Section 161 of the CrPC, claims that Faruqui made derogatory comments about Hindu deities during his show after asking the audience to turn their phones off.
Faruqui’s lawyer, senior advocate Vivek Tankha, had argued that Faruqui had not made any of the comments alleged by the complainant at the show.
The judge said that in light of the statements of the complainant and witnesses, and video footage from the show (recorded by Gaur), “at this stage it is difficult to countenance the submissions of the learned counsel for the applicant as complacency of the applicant cannot be ruled out, besides vulnerability of his acts in public domain.”
The order goes on to note that there may be a possibility of collecting more incriminating material and “complacency” of other persons cannot also be ruled out. It is also noted that a similar case was registered against Faruqui in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, previously (In May 2020).
The judge also notes the complainant’s assertions that Faruqui has made similar jokes against Hindu deities during the last 18 months on various social media platforms, and that this has not been countered by Faruqui’s lawyers.
The judge notes that none of these observations apply to the pending trial, and are only relevant to the issue of bail.
He also goes on to make several further observations in the order (not in the operative part) about how India is a land of diversity where “mutual respect, faith and trust” amongst all citizens are basic tenets of co-existence.
He also states that it is “the constitutional duty of every citizen of the country and also of the States to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India” while making an incorrect reference to Article 15A of the Constitution (instead of Article 51A).
He further writes that “States must endeavour that ecosystem and sustenance of coexistence in our welfare society is not polluted by negative forces and must strive for achievement of goals as enshrined under Article 51A(e) and (f) of the Constitution of India in particular as these provisions are part of our vibrant Constitution and not dead letters.”
Source: The Quint
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