New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a plea by comedian Munawar Faruqui against the Madhya Pradesh High Court order, refusing to grant him bail in a case where he allegedly intended to hurt religious sentiments.
A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and B.R. Gavai will consider the appeal filed by Faruqui challenging the high court's January 28 order.
The high court had observed that after taking into consideration the material seized and the statements of the witnesses along with the ongoing investigation in the matter, no case is made out for grant of bail.
Faruqui, a resident of Gujarat, was arrested on January 2 along with four others on the allegations that he made derogatory remarks against Hindu gods during a stand-up show. The other arrested persons were identified as Edwin Anthony, Nalin Yadav, Prakhar Vyas and Priyam Vyas.
Legal news portal Article-14.com had reported that there was no evidence, video or otherwise, and that police admitted that no jokes were made by the comedian.
According to the report, the only evidence, based on which Faruqui and the others have been imprisoned and bail rejected, is the statement of a Hindu vigilante who has provided no evidence to back his claim.
Superintendent of police Vijay Khatri had told that "it didn't really matter" if Faruqui had not made the comments that were the basis for the arrests.
The high court had noted that there is possibility of collection of more incriminating material and complicity of other persons cannot also be ruled out.
Faruqui's counsel submitted before the high court that he came on an invitation from the organisers of the comedy show and though he was present on the spot at the show, did not utter anything as alleged. The high court, however, said: "In the light of the statements of the complainant and the witnesses referred above, the seized articles, viz., video footage of the show and the seizure memos detailed above, at this stage it is difficult to countenance to 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. It is not a case of no evidence."
The case was registered following complaint from Eklavya Singh Gaud against the accused. Gaud alleged that the comedians were cutting filthy and indecent jokes deliberately against Hindu gods and goddesses and former BJP President, Amit Shah. As a result, the comedians hurt and outraged his religious sentiments.