Friday, June 2, 2023

Tandav web series: Allahabad High Court grants anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime Video head

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The Allahabad High Court has granted anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime Video head Aparna Purohit against whom an FIR registered in Lucknow, for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light in the web series Tandav.

A Single Bench of Justice Krishan Pahal passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc anticipatory bail application under Section 438 CrPc filed by Aparna Purohit.

The applicant is seeking anticipatory bail in connection with FIR/Case under Sections 153-A, 295, 505(1)(b), 505(2), 469 IPC & Sections 66, 66-F & 67 of Information Technology Act, 2008 (as amended), Police Station – Hazratganj, District- Lucknow.

As per the prosecution story, the applicant, who is the Commercial Head of Amazon Prime Video, is said to have purchased the rights of web series “Taandav”.

It has further been alleged that in the said web series, certain actors cast some scenes portraying ‘God’ in a very derogatory manner which hurts the sentiments of the public at large.

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It is the contention of the counsel for the applicant that the applicant has not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiment although the entire episode of the said web series is based on coincidence. There is no criminal history of the applicant. There is no possibility of the applicant to flee from justice, and, therefore, she is entitled for interim protection from the Court.

Santosh Mishra, Additional Government Advocate has opposed the prayer for anticipatory bail.

Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case, this Court is of the opinion that the applicant deserves to be granted anticipatory bail in connection with the aforesaid case, the Court observed.

Accordingly, the Court disposed the anticipatory bail application with following directions:-

(A) In the event of arrest of the applicant involved in aforesaid case shall be released on anticipatory bail till the submission of police report, if any, under section 173(2) Cr.P.C. before the competent Court on his/her furnishing a personal bond of Rs.50,000/- with two sureties each of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Station House Officer of the police station concerned;

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(B) The applicant shall cooperate with the Investigating Officer during investigation and shall report to the Investigating Officer as and when required for the purpose of conducting investigation;

(C) The applicant shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade them from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer; and

(D) The applicant shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court.

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In default or misuse of any of the conditions, the Public Prosecutor/ Investigating Officer/ first informant-complainant is at liberty to file an appropriate application for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the applicant.

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