Munawar Faruqui case: Co-accused Nalin Yadav, Sadakat Khan granted bail
The Madhya Pradesh High Court today granted interim bail to Nalin Yadav and Sadakat Khan, who were last month arrested along with comedian Munawar Faruqui in a case registered against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a comic show in Indore. Faruqui and the other two accused have already been granted bail by separate courts. Here are more details on this.
The bail was granted by Justice Rohit Arya citing the judgment passed by the Supreme Court on February 5 granting bail to Faruqui. Earlier, the District and Sessions court at Indore had, on February 9, rejected the bail application moved by Khan. To recall, Justice Arya had earlier granted bail to the other co-accused - Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony - on February 12.
Faruqui and the other four accused were arrested in January after being detained from the city's Monroe Cafe. They have been accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindu community by cracking jokes about Hindu Gods and deities, and of insulting Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The complaint against them was filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, the chief of a local Hindutva outfit.
Faruqui and the other accused were charged under the Sections 295A (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).
The bail pleas of Faruqui and others had previously been rejected several times by different courts. The comedian has contended he had not made any statements as alleged in the criminal complaint against him. In fact, an Indore Police inspector had earlier said there was no evidence against Faruqui. Notably, many fellow comedians had criticized Faruqui's arrest calling it an attack on free speech.