Supreme Court to hear comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail application on Friday, 35 days after arrest

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The Supreme Court will hear a bail application by comedian Munawar Faruqui on Friday, days after the Madhya Pradesh High Court rejected his bail application.

मुनव्वर फारूकी

A Bench comprising Justices Rohinton Nariman and BR Gavai will hear Faruqui’s appeal on Friday. The matter has been listed as item number 27 for tomorrow.

Rejecting Faruqui’s bail application on 28 January, the single judge bench of Justice Rohit Arya from the Madhya Pradesh High Court had said that no case was made out ‘for grant of bail.’ Justice Arya had said that ‘mutual respect, faith and trust amongst all citizens of India are basic tenets of co-existence in a welfare society governed by rule of law.’

He had added, “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 enshrined under Article 51A(e) and (f) of Constitution.”

Faruqui was arrested in Indore on 1 January after a son of a local BJP MLA created a ruckus even before the comedian could start his performance. He was arrested along with other associates. The comedian from Gujarat has been in jail for more than a month, but the Madhya Pradesh High Court judge felt that the ‘evidence/material collected so far, suggest that in an organized public show under the garb of standup comedy on commercial lines, prima facie scurrilous, disparaging utterances, outraging religious feelings of a class of citizens of India were made.’

Justice Arya is the same judge, who had granted bail to an accused in a sexual harassment case last year on a condition that he would visit the complainant on the day of Rakshabandhan with a box of sweets and request her to tie a Rakhi on his wrist. According to a report by Hindustan Times, he had also directed the sexual harassment accused to promise to protect his victim and also give a sum of Rs 11,000 to her as a gift as a part of the custom of Rakshabandhan.

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