"I apologise to them 100 times.”
Gurdas Maan has been granted interim anticipatory bail after he was accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
A case was registered against the singer on August 26, 2021.
Gurdas had approached the Jalandhar court on September 1, 2021, and sought anticipatory bail.
Gurdas joined the hearing through a video call as he tested positive for Covid-19.
It was also made clear that in case he failed to appear, the police would be at liberty to move an application for recalling the order.
Justice Avneesh Jhingan said:
“As no custodial interrogation of the petitioner is required, the interim bail granted on September 15 is made absolute.
“Let the petitioner join the investigation within five weeks from today.
“In the meantime, the investigating officer may join the petitioner through video conference.”
During an annual religious fair in Nakodar in August 2021, Gurdas described Ladi Shah of Dera Baba Murad Shah as a descendant of the third Sikh master, Guru Amar Das.
A video of the singer’s statement was widely shared on social media.
Members of the Satkar Committee, as well as other Sikh organisations, lodged a police complaint and sought a case against Gurdas.
The Satkar Committee said Gurdas’ statement was part of a planned strategy aiming to “hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.”
The organisations had threatened to hold demonstrations across the state of Punjab if the singer was not booked.
Gurdas was held under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
A protest against Jalandhar police opposite the SSP office was also staged.
Since he made the statement on August 24, 2021, police remained posted in the court complex as Sikh organisations threatened the singer.
Gurdas Maan issued an apology for his statement through a video that was posted on his Instagram page.
To his 957,000 followers, the singer said:
“Gurus should never be compared with anyone, and I can never even think about insulting the great gurus.”
“If my words have hurt anyone’s sentiments, I apologise to them 100 times.”
Gurdas has also caused controversy in 2019 after he supported the idea of ‘One Nation, One Language’ for India.
He expressed his support during a Canadian radio talk show.
As a result, he faced criticism from the Punjabi community during his live show in Canada.
As well as his musical career, Gurdas has starred in many films including Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris and Veer-Zaara.