The Madras High Court on Thursday quashed criminal proceedings against cine actor Suriya and director TJ Gnanavel for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Vanniyar community in his movie Jai Bhim.
Such view of the matter, considering the entire allegations contained in the FIR, this Court is of the view that offence under Section 295A of IPC is not attracted in this case. Hence, the complaint in Crime No.275 of 2022 pending on the file of the first respondent police is liable to be quashed and accordingly quashed.
Merely assuming that the name given to a character in the movie resembles that of the leader of a community, it cannot be presumed that in fact such projection was made or directed against a particular community. Merely referring the same name, one cannot assume that the said name is related to a particular community.
This Court is of the view that when the FIR not even discloses the nature of the insult which outraged a particular section of the people, merely on the inferences and presumptions of the defacto complainant the offence under Section 295A of IPC will not get attracted. If such inference or presumption of a particular person or some individual is given importance, no doubt it will curtail the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
Case Title: TJ Gnanavel and another v. The State and another
Case No: Crl OP 16677 of 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 347
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.M.S.Murali
Counsel for the Respondents: Mr.E.Raj Thilak Additional Public Prosecutor (R1), Mr.K.Venkatesan (R2)