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Relief for Kiku Sharda after Haryana seeks cancellation of FIRs for mimicking dera head

The FIRs by Haryana Police in Fatehabad and Kaithal districts were registered on the complaints of two Dera followers.

punjab Updated: Sep 08, 2017 14:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Gurmeet Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim,Kiku Sharda
Comedian Kiku Sharda(HT File)

Two weeks after the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Haryana government sought the cancellation of FIRs against comedian Kiku Sharda for hurting religious sentiments by mimicking him.

The pleas to cancel the first information reports against Raghvendra Amarnath Sharda, alias Kiku Sharda, have been filed in courts in Fatehabad and Kaithal districts. The FIRs were registered on the complaints of dera followers on December 31, 2015, and January 1, 2016, when Sharda mimicked the dera head in a programme, ‘Jashan-e-Umeed’, which was aired on a private TV channel on December 27, 2015.

“We probed the allegations but found no offence made. Hence, FIR cancellation applications have been filed in the trial courts,” Haryana additional advocate general Amar Vivek told the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday.

The matter reached the high court in January after Sharda moved an anticipatory bail plea and sought the quashing of the FIRs. On January 21, 2016, the high court granted him anticipatory bail and stayed proceedings in the trial courts.

Sharda alleged that FIRs were registered by dera followers in an orchestrated manner to harass, humiliate and terrorise him. “It is an attack on the fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 19 (1) (a) and 21 of the Constitution,” Sharda said.

“From the FIR, it’s clear that the ingredients of ‘religion’ as required under Section 295A of the IPC (hurting religious sentiments) were not fulfilled. The programme was a work of art and a dramatic presentation on the electronic media,” Kiku argued.

Section 295A of the IPC is a cognizable offence, which means the accused can be arrested without a judicial warrant.

First Published: Sep 08, 2017 13:27 IST