A single Judge bench of Justice Rohit Arya of Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed the bail plea moved by comedian Munawar Faruqui and Nalin Yadav accused of hurting religious sentiments.
The Court concluded by saying, “regard being had to the material seized and the statements of the witnesses and that the investigation is in progress, no case is made out for grant of bail.“
The order stated that there is a Constitutional duty on every citizen and the State to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood irrespective of religious, linguistic, sectional and regional diversities (under Article 51A(e) and (f) of the Constitution).
The Court must strive to ensure that Article 51A(e) and (f) of the Constitution of India are not dead letters.
“Fundamental Rights although confers rights but the duties and obligations are inherent thereunder. Every right is coupled with duty. Liberty of an individual has to be balanced with his duties and obligations towards his fellow citizens.”Madhya Pradesh HC
“Our country is a beautiful country and sets an example of coexistence amid diversities; be it religion, language, culture, geographical locations etc, to the world at large. Mutual respect, faith and trust amongst all citizens of India are basic tenets of co-existence, in a welfare society governed by the principles of rule of law,”The order.
The Court concluded that there is prima facie evidence to suggest that the applicants ( Munawar Faruqui and the show organiser, Yadav) had intended to outrage religious feelings “under the garb of standup comedy.”
The Court rejected the submissions made on behalf of Munawar Faruqui that he had not uttered any statements as alleged in the criminal complaint, opining that in view of the complaint, the witnesses in the case and video footage seized of the show, the submissions of Munawar Faruqui cannot be accepted.
Comedian Munawar Faruqui, a resident of Gujarat, was arrested on January 2 along with four 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. The other arrested persons were identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas and Priyam Vyas. They were booked under sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
While dismissing the bail application, the court said that the evidence/material collected so far against the accused, suggest that in an organized public show under the garb of stand-up 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 applicants.
Read order denying bail to Munawar Faruqui here: