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Munawar Faruqui Case : Madhya Pradesh High Court Grants Ad-Interim Bail To Co-Accused Prakhar Vyas And Edwin Anthony

12 Feb 2021 8:01 AM GMT
Munawar Faruqui

The Madhya Pradesh High Court(Indore Bench) on Friday granted ad-interim bail to Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony, colleagues of Munawar Faruqui who were arrested on January 2 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a stand-up comedy show.

A single bench of Justice Rohit Arya granted them ad-interim bail while issuing notice on the bail applications filed by them.

Munawar Faruquri was granted ad-interim bail by Supreme Court on February 5, after he approached the SC following the dismissal of his bail application by the MP High Court(bench of Justice Rohit Arya).

Three more persons arrested along with Faruqui - Nail Yadav(organizer of the comedy show), Priyam Vyas and Sadaqat Khan - continue to be in jail.

Faruqui, a resident of Gujarat, was arrested on January 2 along with others for allegedly making indecent remarks against Hindu deities and against Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on January 1.

The complaint was filed against them by Eklavya Singh Gaur (36), son of local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur.

On January 28, a single bench of Justice Rohit Arya of the MP High Court(Indore Bench) dismissed the bail applications filed by Faruqui and the show's organizer Nalin Yadav observing that no case was made out for grant of bail.

The bench observed that the investigation conducted so far suggested that "disparaging utterances, outraging religious feelings of a class of citizens of India with deliberate intendment, were made by the applicants".

Faruqui contended that he never made the statements during the show as alleged.

In the hearing on January 25, Justice Rohit Arya had orally remarked "Such people must not be spared".

"But why you take undue advantage of other's religious sentiments and emotions. What is wrong with your mindset? How can you do this for the purpose of your business?", the judge had asked during the hearing.

When Faruqui approached the Supreme Court against the rejection of his bail order, a bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman ordered his release while issuing notice on his petition.

A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai granted ad-interim bail to Faruqui after noting the submission of his counsel, Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, that the arrest was made in violation of Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure and that the allegations were vague.

The Bench has also stayed the the production warrant issued in a case registered by UP Police for alleged hurting of religious sentiments.

Following the Supreme Court order, Faruqui was released from Indore jail on February 6 late night.

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