The Madhya Pradesh High Court Thursday denied bail to stand-up comedian Munnawar Faruqui and co-accused Nalin Yadav in a case of hurting religious sentiments of the majority community.
Justice Rohit Arya said that the material collected so far suggested that, in an organized public show, under the garb of standup comedy at a public place on commercial lines, prima facie scurrilous, disparaging utterances, outraging the religious feelings of a class of citizens of India with deliberate intent, were made by the applicants.
Justice Arya added that the investigation was in progress.
“The possibility of collection of more incriminating material and complicity of other persons cannot also be ruled out. Further, it has come on record that similar nature of offence has been registered against the applicant at Police Station Georgetown, Prayagraj, State of Uttar Pradesh”, Justice Arya said.
The Court also said that Faruqui and co-accused Yadav allegedly had been making “outrageous filthy jokes” on social media deliberately against Hindu Gods, Lord Shriram and Goddess Seeta, hurting religious sentiments of Hindus for the last 18 months despite, protest on various social media platforms.
There is nothing on record to the contrary, the Court said.
It also emphasized that it was the constitutional duty of every citizen of the country and also of the states to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India irrespective of religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities and to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture (Article 51A (e) and (f) of the Constitution of India.
“States must endeavour that ecosystem and sustenance of coexistence in our welfare society is not polluted by negative forces and must strive for achievement of goals as enshrined under Article 51A(e) and (f) of the Constitution of India in particular as these provisions are part of our vibrant Constitution and not dead letters”, Justice Arya said.
Faruqui and co-accused Yadav have been in jail since January 1, and are facing charges under sections 295A, 298, 269 and 188/34 of the IPC.
Faruqui was arrested on allegations that he made derogatory remarks against Hindu Gods during a recent stand-up show.
A complaint to this effect was filed by Eklavya Singh Gaud. Gaud is the custodian of the Hindu Protection Congregation (Sanghatan).