Indore authorities refuse to release Munawar Faruqui despite SC granting interim bail, quashing UP court production warrant
Citing the jail manual, a jail official told PTI that since the production warrant was issued by a trial court in Allahabad, an order from the same court or a competent government officer is needed to release the comedian
Madhya Pradesh jail authorities did not release comedian Munawwar Faruqi from jail on Saturday even though he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in a case of allegedly hurting religious sentiments with objectionable remarks about Hindu deities during a show.
Officials cited the execution of a production warrant issued by a trial court in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh court, in connection with an FIR lodged in the state, for not releasing the comedian.
The top court had on Friday stayed a Madhya Pradesh High Court order of 28 January, which had refused to grant Faruqui the bail and had also stayed the production warrant issued against the comedian by the Uttar Pradesh trial court.
Counsels of the comedian on Saturday submitted the order of the apex court in the Indore court, which directed that the comedian be released on a bond of Rs 50,000 and a similar amount of security.
Asked why Faruqui was not released from the jail, an officer of the Indore Central Jail told PTI that a court in Allahabad had ordered Faruqui's production in a similar case on 18 February. Citing the jail manual, he said an order from the Allahabad court or a competent government officer is needed to release Faruqui.
The officer said Faruqui will be taken to Prayagraj on Sunday morning if they don't get the requisite order. Before that, a COVID-19 test will be conducted on him, he added.
Meanwhile, Faruqui's cousin Zaid Pathan said they are disappointed with the stand of the jail administration. "Our belief in the judiciary was strengthened after the Supreme Court order," he said.
Faruqui and four others were arrested on 1 January following a complaint by a BJP MLA's son that objectionable remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were passed during a comedy show at a cafe in Indore on New Year's Day.
One more person was arrested subsequently. However, he was not released.
Earlier, the lower court on two occasions and the Indore bench of the MP High Court had denied bail to the comedian. As per the First Information Report, the comedy show was held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on 1 January.
Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of local BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaud, had filed a complaint against Faruqui and others. Faruqui and others were arrested under IPC section 295-A (outraging religious feelings).
They were also accused of holding the show amid the COVID-19 pandemic without permission and were booked under Section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), and other relevant provisions.
With inputs from PTI
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