Indore: After hours of confusion and drama, stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was released from Indore central jail late on Saturday night, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a case for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
The jail administration had earlier expressed its inability to release Faruqui, citing a warrant issued by a court in Prayagraj.
An official of the Indore central jail, had said that a court in Prayagraj had ordered Faruqui's production in a similar case on February. Citing the jail manual, he said that an order from the Prayagraj court or a competent government officer, was needed to release him.
According to PTI, an official of the jail said that Faruqui was released from the jail after the prison authorities received the order of the Supreme Court.
Speaking to NDTV after his release, Faruqui said he has full faith in judiciary and does want to comment on anything else.
Reports suggested that he was released after a call by a senior judicial officer. Sources said that he was released after a late-night phone call from a top judge.
Rajesh Bangde, Superintendent of Indore Central Jail, told the Indian Express that a Supreme Court judge called up the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Indore and asked him to check the SC website for the order.
“We had earlier not received the order, however, a judge from the Supreme Court called up the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Indore and asked him to check the website for the uploaded orders and in case it was already uploaded, to comply by it. We checked the site and it was uploaded and hence he was released at 11 pm,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.
Arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentimentson the complaint of a BJP MLA's son, Faruqui was in Indore jail since January 1. His bail plea was rejected by local court as well as the Madhya Paradesh High Court.
He was finally granted interim bail by the Supreme Court which stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order of January 28. The Apex court also stayed the production warrant issued against Faruqui by a court in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj in connection with an FIR lodged there last year.
A video shared by local reporters showed that the comedian walked out of the jail silently and quietly.
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.
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.
(With inputs from agencies)