Munawar Faruqui along with four others were arrested and put into judicial custody from 1st January 2021. On grounds of being overheard practising jokes that were supposedly indecent and degrading to Hindu deities and the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The arrest was recorded on grounds of Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code and other provisions which amounted to outraging religious sentiments. The case was dealt with in the Madhya Pradesh High Court first, where his bail plea was rejected. On Friday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman had granted him ad interim bail. The Supreme Court also had stayed the production warrant filed against Faruqui.
After the Supreme Court granted him the bail, Faruqui was to be released from the Indore jail. But the authorities refused to state they had not received an official order from the Chief Judicial Magistrate that stayed the earlier production warrant order. They refused to release Faruqui till the order was received from the CJM. The jail authorities said
“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.”
The phone call from the Supreme Court had directed the officials to check the apex court’s decision.
The bail was granted to Faruqui only after the Chief Judicial Magistrate received a call from the Supreme Court. Faruqui was finally released more than 24 hrs after the Supreme Court granted his bail. On a video message posted after the release, Faruqui said,
“I don’t want to comment (on the case again him) now. But I have full faith in the judiciary and I am hopeful of getting justice.”
This incident of being denied bail despite having a Supreme Court order sheds light on where the problems lie with justice administration.
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