The Madhya Pradesh High Court's Indore Bench on Thursday, January 28, rejected the bail applications filed by comedian Munawar Faruqui and co-accused Nalin Yadav who have been in jail for "hurting religious sentiments" during a show.
Dismissing the applications, Justice Rohit Arya observed that the evidence/material gathered so far suggested that the "show was organized under the garb of standup comedy at a public place on commercial lines. The show outraged the religious feelings of a particular section of the citizens of India", LiveLaw reported.
"There is also a specific assertion by the learned counsel for the complainant that the applicant along with other co-accused persons allegedly making outraging filthy jokes in 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 observed.
"It is 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 our composite culture (Article 15A (e) and (f) of the Constitution of India," Justice Arya said.
"One must ensure that negative forces do not pollute this kind of 'ecosystem and sustenance of coexistence," the judge added.
Justice Arya had reserved the order on the bail application filed by Munawar on January 25.
After hearing the counsels objecting the bail plea, the judge posed questions on Munawar's 'mindset' behind the alleged jokes, and said that he must 'not be spared'. "Such people must not be spared. I will reserve the order on merits," he said.
Munawar was arrested on January 1, by the Indore Police, for allegedly insulting and making indecent remarks on Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a New Year show in the Indore, while Yadav, the organiser of the show was arrested the following day.