In a major relief to comedian Raghvendra Amarnath Sharda, known as Kiku Sharda, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed his arrest in any of the criminal case pertaining to controversy over his role in a Zee TV show.
Kiku Sharda was booked and arrested first by Kaithal police and later by Fatehabad police in cases registered on complaint of two followers of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The complainants had alleged that by imitating the saint in Zee TV show ‘Jashan e Umeed’, he had hurt their religious sentiments.
Popular for his role as Palak- Kiku Sharda had approached High Court seeking quashing of the two FIRs lodged against him.
The arrest of Kiku Sharda in the case came under controversy as Bollywood reacted sharply and criticized the police action.
In his petition seeking quashing of FIRs, Kiku Sharda stated that Dera Sacha Sauda was not a religious organization “by any definition”. Referring to Section 295A of the IPC, his counsel submitted that it hovered around deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
The counsel for Sharda also claimed that multiple FIRs had been lodged against him with regard to the same program through Dera followers in an “orchestrated manner” with a view to “harass, humiliate and terrorize him and his co-accused”.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notice to Haryana government and other respondents for February 4, asking them to respond on contentions raised by Kiku Sharda.
The bench also issued directions that Kiku Sharda will not be arrested in any case pertaining to said controversy till further orders of the court.