The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday, January 25, reserved the order on the bail application of comedian Munawar Faruqui, who has been under arrest since January 2, for allegedly making derogatory jokes on Hindu deities.
The Indore single-judge bench of Justice Rohit Arya posed questions on Faruqui's 'mindset' behind the alleged jokes, and said that he must 'not be spared'.
"Why do you take undue advantage of others' religious sentiments and emotions. What is wrong with your mindset? How can you do this for the purpose of your business?" LiveLaw quoted the judge as saying.
"Such people must not be spared. I will reserve the order on merits", the bench while reserving the order.
The bench also asked Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha, representing Faruqui, if he wanted to withdraw the bail plea. To this, Tankha said that the comedian had not committed any offence and reiterated that he should be granted bail.
Counsels opposing the plea said that Faruqui had made highly objectionable statements against Hindu gods and deities. One of them said there were several videos in the past, where Faququi can be seen insulting the Hindu gods and repeated the same on different occasions.
"This has led to other comedians making such remarks about Hindu gods. This is happening with 70 per cent of the comedians," the counsel added.
The judge asked other counsels to submit their concerned documents and supporting evidence.
Faruqui has been behind bars, even though the police have clarified that there was no electronic evidence and that the complaint was filed based on hearsay. The department said his arrest was based on 'oral evidence', given by the son of a BJP MLA, who claimed to have 'overheard' Faruqui rehearsing jokes that he would say in his act.