The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea moved by comedian Munawar Faruqui and Nalin Yadav who were arrested by MP Police and targeted by Hindu fringe groups over their art performances.
Justice Rohit Arya who pronounced the order after reserving orders on Monday has concluded that, “regard being had to the material seized and the statements of the witnesses and that the investigation is in progress, no case is made out for grant of bail.”
According to Bar and Bench, in his order, Justice Arya highlighted that there is a Constitutional duty on every citizen and the State to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood irrespective of religious, linguistic, sectional and regional diversities (under Article 51A(e) and (f) of the Constitution).
“Fundamental Rights although confers rights but the duties and obligations are inherent thereunder. Every right is coupled with duty. Liberty of an individual has to be balanced with his duties and obligations towards his fellow citizens,” the Court said.
The State must endeavour to ensure that this “ecosystem and sustenance of coexistence in our welfare society is not polluted by negative forces,” the Court added.
Faruqui, performing artist Nalin Yadav and three others were arrested on the complaint of a Hindu fringe group Hind Rakshak Sangathan (HRS) leader and son of a BJP MLA that “indecent” remarks were made against Hindu deities and Home Minister Amit Shah during a show held in Indore in Madhya Pradesh. However, police later admitted that Faruqui had not made any statements. His arrest, police say, was based on “oral evidence” given by the local Hindutva leader who claimed to have “overheard” Faruqui rehearsing jokes that he was “going to” say in his act.
The comedian has been a target of Hindutva groups since last year when one of his shows got viral for its sharp comments.
Faruqui had also been roughed up by the members of the fringe group Hind Rakshak Sangathan, who forcefully took him to the Tukoganj police station along with the organisers of the event.