Munawar Faruqui.

Comedian Munawar Faruqui still in jail despite SC ordering his release

A day after he was granted ad-interim bail and a stay on a Uttar Pradesh court’s production warrant by the Supreme Court, comedian Munwar Faruqi continued to remain in jail.

According to media reports, Indore jail authorities said they are yet to receive an order of release from the court in UP that issued the production warrant.

Quoting a jail officer of the Indore Central Jail, News18 reported that a court in Prayagraj had ordered Faruqui’s production in a similar case on February 18. Citing the jail manual, the officer said an order from the Prayagraj court or a competent government officer was needed to release Faruqui.

In a series of tweets, Congress MP P Chidambaram questioned why the comedian had not been released yet. “Why has Munawar Faruqui not been released from jail despite an order of interim bail granted by the Supreme Court yesterday morning?” his tweet read.

Speaking to The Leaflet, Supreme Court lawyer, Prasanna S said there is absolutely no other way to read the order but as an order of immediate release.

“Jail authorities attempting to frustrate the Supreme Court’s orders like this are playing with fire and inviting contempt proceedings upon themselves”, Advocate Prasanna added.

A two-judge bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai Friday stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order refusing bail to Faruqui.

The bench also stayed the UP court’s production warrant against Faruqui.

Faruqui was arrested on 1 January 2021, along with four others, for allegedly cracking “indecent” and “vulgar” jokes about Hindu gods.