P Chidambaram questions bail denial to Siddique Kappan, Munawar Faruqui

He asked, "Why is the principle ‘Bail is the Rule and Jail is the Exception’ not being applied in every case?"

Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P.Chidambaram expressed dismay on Thursday over courts denying bail to Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui.

In a tweet, he wrote, “Despite the judgement of the Constitution Bench (Justice Ravindra Bhat) and another Bench (Justice Chandrachud), why is the principle ‘Bail is the Rule and Jail is the Exception’ not being applied in every case?”

In another tweet, he asked why are the courts denying bail to journalist Siddique Kappan and comedian Munawar Faruqui, adding, “equality means equal access to justice and equal application of legal principles.”

Stand- up comedian Munawar Faruqui was arrested on January 1 during a show that he was supposed to perform in Indore. The arrest was made stating that Faruqui’s set had anti-Hindu jokes and hurt religious sentiments, based on a complaint by Eklavya Gaud, the son of BJP MLA Malini Gaud.

Also Read | What happened at Munawar Faruqui’s show? Check eyewitness account, videos

Last Friday, in Madhya Pradesh high court at Faruqui’s bail hearing, the Indore police confirmed that it does not have evidence regarding the allegations against the comedian and failed to produce a case diary.

However, An Indore Sessions Court has rejected all the bail petitions it has heard so far. After the adjournment on Friday, due to “non-availability” of police case diary, the High Court will take up Faruqui’s bail plea earliest by next week.

Similarly last October, Siddique Kappan a journalist from Kerala along with three others was detained while traveling to meet the family of the 19-yr-old Dalit woman from Hathras who was gang-raped.

Also Read | Jailed journalist Siddique Kappan’s wife seeks Kerala CM’s intervention

In Kappan’s case, the UP Police alleged that that the accused gathered funds to instigate riots on basis of caste “as they have done on basis of religion in protest of CAA”. 

Following this, all four of them were booked under IPC sections 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), and provisions of the UAPA.

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