The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday reserved its verdict on the bail application of comedian Munawar Faruqui and co-accused Nalin Yadav.

The single-judge bench of Justice Rohit Arya, expressing disinclination to entertain the application, asked Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha (appearing for Faruqui), if he wanted to withdraw the bail application or not.

Lawyers, opposing the bail application, told the bench that the comedian made highly objectionable statements against Hindu gods and deities.

The court while reserving the order has said, “Such people must not be spared. I will reserve the order on merits.”

Munawar Faruqui was arrested by Madhya Pradesh’s Indore Police on January 2, a day after he was detained from Monroe Cafe on January 1. His show had been interrupted by BJP MLA Malini Gaur’s son Eklavya Singh Gaur. Gaur is also the convenor of the local Hindutva outfit, Hindu Rakshak.

Faruqui and five others were arrested on charges under Section 295-A (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 269 (negligent act likely to cause spread of disease), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Two bail pleas filed by Faruqui’s lawyers have been rejected.This is the third bail plea and the first one in the High Court. It had been listed for January 15, but because the police had not submitted the case diary, the matter was adjourned to two weeks later.


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