Standup comedian Munawar Faruqui was granted bail on the 5th of February.
During a hearing, the Supreme Court (SC) granted interim bail to comedian Munawar Faruqui.
The SC bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman reviewed a petition filed against the decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
On the 28th of January, the Madhya Pradesh High Court of Indore bench dismissed the bail application filed by comedian Munawar Faruqui.
During the court hearing, the single bench by Justice Rohit Arya said, “no case is made out for grant of bail.”
Comedian Munawar Faruqui and his aide Nalin Yadav were arrested on the 2nd of January for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus.
However, there was no evidence against Munawar Faruqui and his arrest was based on the claims of the son of a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In addition, a vigilante group Hind Rakshak Sangathan (HRS) also alleged the comedian of hurting Hindu sentiments.
On the 28th of January, Mr. Munawar’s bail plea was rejected thrice and he was under police custody since the 2nd of January.
However, on the 5th of February, the SC bench by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman granted Munawar Faruqui bail.
The bench said that the Madhya Pradesh Police flouted the top court’s judgment in the case of Arnesh Kumar versus Bihar of 2014, during Munawar’s arrest.
The bench also issued a notice to Madhya Pradesh Government in the matter.
They supported Mr. Faruqui’s counsel Saurabh Kripal who argued that allegations against Munawar Faruqui are vague and the arrest was without any evidence. Mr. Kripal said the arrest and the cases filed against Munawar Faruqui were instances of victimisation as there was no evidence found against him, of hurting religious sentiments.
In addition, the Apex Court said the arrest did not follow procedure under the Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC.)
According to the 2014 Judgement of the Top Court in Arnesh Kumar V/S Bihar Police case, the Top Court laid down a procedure to be followed to arrest persons in matters where an offence is punishable with a jail term of up to seven years.
The provisions come under Section 41 of the CrPC, which states every police officer shall forward a check list of the arrest duly filled and furnish the reasons and materials which necessitated the arrest, while producing the accused before the magistrate.
According to the 2014 judgment, notice of appearance has to be extended by the Superintendent of Police (SP) concerned to the accused within two weeks of filing the case, under Section 41 of CrPC.
The judgement also said, the police must ensure they do not arrest an accused unnecessarily and the magistrate do not authorise detention casually and mechanically.
The court said, “Judgement of 2014 is not followed in this case and that has been pointed out to us. We issue notice on the interim bail plea. Production warrant by UP stayed.”
Besides granting Mr. Faruqui bail, the Top Court also granted him protection from being arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in a separate case.
With this, standup comedian Munawar Faruqui would be released from police custody after more than a month.
Stay tuned for further updates.