A single judge bench of Allahbad Court has rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by the top Amazon executive Aparna Purohit. She has been accused of hurting religious sentiments in an FIR filed against her by the Uttar Pradesh Police on the Amazon Prime Web series ‘Tandav’.
The bench headed by Justice Siddharth in his 20-page order rejected her bail plea and said, “The conduct of the applicant shows that she has scant respect for the law of the land and her conduct further disentitles her to any relief from this court.”
Naming the series with ‘Tandav’ is itself an offence as it is a particular act associated with Lord Shiva, the court added.
However, she has got an interim protection from the bench in a similar case.
Justice Siddharth in his order said that Purohit’s intentions to outrage religious feelings were deliberate and malicious, which would attract the offence under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups.)
Defending herself, Purohit said that the series was a fiction act and was not intended to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments.
The court also said that apologizing or withdrawing scenes once they are watched will not discharge the accused from his charges.
After looking into the scenes of the series and observed that “esteemed and revered characters of the faith of the majority community of India have been lampooned and portrayed in a very cheap and objectionable way.”
Comparing the Series with the digital content from west the court said, “Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet, but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and is still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu Gods and Goddesses.”
“The forces inimical to the interest of this country become active and they make it an issue and raise it before different national and international forums alleging that the Indian citizens have become intolerant and India has become unsafe.”
The court said such acts are not subject to any tolerance and marked the final order by saying, “the applicant had not been vigilant and has acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting streaming of a movie, which is against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty cannot be protected by grant of anticipatory bail to her in the exercise of discretionary powers of this court.”