A single-judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday stayed FIR (first information report) proceedings in a case registered in Faridkot against comedian Kiku Sharda and others for allegedly mimicking Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda’s head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The bench of justice Rajesh Bindal, while staying the FIR, issued a notice to Punjab, among others, for March 10.
The court order came on a petition filed by Sharda, fellow comedian Ali Asgar, Rajiv Thakur, Gaurav Gera, Puja Banerjee, Mouni Roy and Sana Khan, all associated with the programme in which the dera head was allegedly mimicked. They were booked by the Faridkot police on December 31 on the charge of hurting religious sentiments and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In January, the court had stayed FIRs -- and consequential proceedings -- registered by the Haryana police in Fatehabad and Kaithal districts on the complaints of two dera followers.
All petitioners are accused of mimicking the dera head in Jashan-e-Umeed, a programme aired on a private TV channel on December 27, 2015. It has been argued that that multiple FIRs had been lodged by dera followers in an orchestrated manner with a view to harass, humiliate and terrorise the petitioners.