The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Commercial Head of Amazon Prime Video, Aparna Purohit, to cooperate in the ongoing investigation against the web series 'Tandav'.
A Single Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh has ordered Purohit to appear before the investigating officer tomorrow, February 23, and fully cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
The order states,
"Considering the aforesaid undertaking, the accused-applicant is directed to appear before the investigating officer tomorrow i.e. 23.02.2021 at 2 p.m. at Police Station Hazratganj, Lucknow.
The investigating officer shall interrogate/investigate and, if it is required, intimate further date for appearance of the accused-applicant.
The accused-applicant is directed to fully cooperate in the ongoing investigation. The accused-applicant will not leave the country without prior permission of the competent Court."
The development comes after the Police authorities informed the Court that Purohit has not been cooperating in the investigation after obtaining interim protection vide order dated February 11, 2021.
She has been booked for alleged commission of offences under Sections 66 (Computer related offences), 66F (Punishment for cyber terrorism) and 67 (Transmitting obscene material) IT Act, 2008 (as amended) apart from Sections 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 295 (Defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion), 505(1)(b) (Public mischief), 505(2) (Statements promoting hatred between classes), 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of IPC.
Earlier, Purohit had argued that all the offences alleged against her carry a maximum sentence of three years. She further submitted that a perusal of the FIR does not indicate commission of any offence under Section 66-F of the IT Act.
On February 4, the Allahabad High Court granted her protection against coercive pursuant to an FIR registered against her in Gautam Buddh Nagar.
Subsequently, on February 11, the Lucknow Bench of the High Court extended this protection, vis-à-vis a FIR registered in Hazratganj Kotwali in Lucknow.
On Monday, the High Court extended the protection order until March 9, 2021.
'Tandav', starring actors Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan and Kritika Kamra, premiered on the streaming platform Amazon Prime last month.
The UP Government has alleged that "the visual and wordings used by certain actors in the said web series contain certain scene portraying 'God' in a very derogatory manner for which the said F.I.R. has been lodged."
Case Title: Aparna Purohit v. State of UP & Anr.