The hearing on the bail petition of stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui, arrested on allegations of making objectionable comments on Hindu gods and goddesses during a comedy show in Indore was extended on Friday, January 15, as the Tukojiganj police failed to present the case diary in the court.
The Indore bench of the Madhya High Court on Friday deferred the bail hearing of Munawar Faruqui and the other accused to next week on January 25, India Today reported.
"The Tukojiganj police station is just 500 meters away from the High Court but the police is not deliberately presenting the case diary because Munawar Fariqui, who is the main accused, never performed at the event in which the so-called malicious attempts to outrage religious feelings were made. We were to make these submissions in court today," Faruqui's counsel Anshuman Shrivastava said.
Munawar was arrested along with four others on January 1 for allegedly insulting and making indecent remarks on Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a New Year show in Indore. The four others arrested include Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas, Nalin Yadav, and event coordinator Edwin Anthony.
The arrests were made based on a complaint filed at the Tukoganj police station, by Eklavya Singh Gaur, son of a local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur.
It must be noted that SHO of Tukojiganj police station Kamlesh Sharma had admitted that the police had not found any evidence against the comedian. Senior police officials of Indore, however, maintain that they have video evidence without giving any explanation as to why the case diary was not presented in court.
Meanwhile, Indore Superintendent of Police Vijay Khatri said that Munawar had not made any jokes about Hindu deities, or even begun his performance when he was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police on January 1.
"The comedian was arrested only on the basis of claims made by a Hindutva vigilante group," the cop said.
Khatri said that the arrest was made on basis of a complaint by Eklavya Singh Gaur, who said he had overheard jokes during rehearsal. However, cop, said that the lack of video evidence "was not a concern".