Stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui
Stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui

Comedian Munawar Faruqui, who was granted an interim bail by the Supreme Court yesterday, has not yet been released from the Central Jail Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

According to a report, the jail administration on Saturday expressed its inability to release Faruqui, citing a warrant issued by a court in Prayagraj.

The Indore jail officials also said that they are yet to receive any orders from the Supreme Court regarding the comedian's release, NDTV reported.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court, after granting bail to Faruqui yesterday, had also stayed the production warrant issued against him by a trial court in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the FIR lodged in the state.

Incidentally, Faruiqui's lawyer Anshuman Shrivastav has now confirmed that the comedian will not be released from jail today, Live Law notified at 10 PM. The jail authorities have also reportedly insisted that there should be more clarity on pending warrants in cases registered in Uttar Pradesh.

The top court also stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order of January 28, which had refused to grant him bail noting that to "promote harmony" is one of the constitutional duties.

That Faruqui has not yet been released did not go completely unnoticed, despite the media din being otherwise occupied by the farmers' protests today. Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, highlighted that Faruqui had not yet been released from jail despite the Supreme Court interim bail yesterday morning.

"It is nearly 30 hours since the order was passed. Yet, the order is being undermined by the MP police and jail authorities. Is all this happening with or without the knowledge of the MP Chief Minister?" Chidambaram tweeted, training his guns at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Faruqui and four others were arrested on January 1 following a complaint by a BJP MLA's son that alleged objectionable remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were passed by him during a comedy show at a cafe in Indore on New Year's day.

Yesterday, (i.e. February 5, Friday) a Supreme Court Bench of Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai, had issued the aforementioned notices on two petitions filed by Faruqui seeking bail in a case lodged in Indore in Madhya Pradesh and clubbing and quashing of FIRs lodged for the same alleged offence in different states.

At the outset, advocate Saurabh Kirpal, appearing for Faruqui said, "This is a case of victimisation".

He said that allegations made in the FIR are vague in nature and procedure of arrest laid down by the court in its 2014 verdict was not followed.

As per the First Information Report, the comedy show was held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on January 1.

Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaud, had filed a complaint against Faruqui and others.

Gaud had said that he and his associates had gone to watch the show where alleged indecent jokes were made about Hindu gods and goddesses and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He forced the organizers to stop the show, he had said.

Faruqui and others were arrested for the alleged offences punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including section 295-A which deals with deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class.

They were also accused of holding the show amid COVID-19 pandemic without permission and were booked under other relevant provisions of the IPC.

(With inputs from agencies)

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