12 Feb 2021 5:48 AM GMT
The UP Government has told the Allahabad High Court that the makers of the web series 'Tandav' have been booked for portraying 'God' in a very derogatory manner. Opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by Aparna Purohit, the creative head of Amazon Prime Video India, in the FIR registered over scenes in 'Tandav', the Additional Advocate General Vinod Shahi submitted that ...
The UP Government has told the Allahabad High Court that the makers of the web series 'Tandav' have been booked for portraying 'God' in a very derogatory manner.
Opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by Aparna Purohit, the creative head of Amazon Prime Video India, in the FIR registered over scenes in 'Tandav', the Additional Advocate General Vinod Shahi submitted 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."
He further submitted that the public opinion after watching the web series was so provocative which persuaded the State for lodging the said first information report and considering the nature of the allegations and severity thereof the applicant is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail
Earlier, on February 4, the Allahabad High Court had granted her protection against coercive pursuant to an FIR registered against her in Gautam Buddh Nagar
The instant case pertains to an FIR lodged in Hazratganj Kotwali in Lucknow for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light in the web-series Tandav and 'which could lead to religious flare-ups'.
It is registered for 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.
During a hearing held on Friday, Shahi submitted that the public opinion after watching the web series was so "provocative" that the State was persuaded to lodge an FIR. Considering the nature of the allegations and severity, he submitted, Purohit is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail.
He further sought time to seek instructions in the matter and file a detailed counter affidavit.
The Single Bench comprising Justice Alok Mathur therefore adjourned the matter for ten days while granting interim protection to Purohit till the next date, i.e. February 22. The relief was granted in light of the February 4 order passed by another Single Bench.
The order states,
"Considering the rival submissions of the parties as well as nature of the allegations levelled and also considering the fact that similar matter had engaged the attention of this Court at Allahabad wherein by means of the order dated 4.2.2021 interim protection has been granted, it is provided that till the next date of listing no coercive action shall be taken against the applicant."
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.
The matter will now be heard on February 22, 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.
Significantly, last month the Supreme Court, while observing that "You Cannot Hurt Religious Sentiments", issued notices on a plea filed by the Director, Producer, Writer and Actor of the web series Tandav seeking for clubbing and transferring of criminal proceedings which have been initiated against them in various cities for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah refused to grant any interim protection to the accused persons apprehending arrest from Police departments of six states.
Case Title: Aparna Purohit v. State of UP & Anr.
Click Here To Download Order