Justice Siddharth of the Allahabad High Court granted protection to Content Head at Amazon Prime (India), Aparna Purohit from any “coercive action” or arrest in relation to an FIR registered against her in connection with the web show “Tandav” that released on January 15, 2021.
While reserving the order, the Single-judge Bench said, “Till the pronouncement of order no coercive action shall be taken against the applicant.”
The Court was hearing an anticipatory bail matter filed by Aparna Purohit in connection with an FIR filed against her and others in Uttar Pradesh under sections 153-A (1) (B) (Act prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) 295-A (deliberate act to outrage religious belief), 505 (1) (B) (intend to cause fear or alarm in public), 505 (2) (statements promoting enmity) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to Bar & Bench, aside from Purohit, an FIR was also registered against director of the show, Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra and writer Gaurav Solanki and others at Hazratganj Kotwali in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light in the web-series and “which could lead to religious flare-ups.”
LiveLaw reported that the complaint, lodged by Senior Sub Inspector Amar Nath Yadav stated that on perusal of Twitter handles and other social media platforms, angry outburst on social media against the content of the web series was noticed. The complaint also stated that in episode number 1, there are dialogues which may spread “caste-based enmity”.
The complaint also mentioned that the person holding a dignified post like that of Prime Minister has been shown in a very “derogatory” manner throughout the web series. On January 20, the Bombay High Court had granted similar relief of anticipatory bail for three weeks to the director, producer, writer and Aparna Purohit.
Bar & Bench reported that Bombay High Court’s Justice PD Naik was urgently approached after the four applicants apprehended arrest by the Lucknow Police, who had landed in Mumbai to investigate the matter.
Interestingly, the four applicants had also approached the Supreme Court last month seeking the clubbing and transferring of criminal proceedings that have been initiated against them in various cities for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, as per LiveLaw reports.
A Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah refused to grant any interim protection to the accused persons apprehending arrest from Police in six States and remarked, “You cannot hurt religious sentiments.” The Bench asked them to approach the appropriate High Courts for relief.
The order may be read here: