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UP government justifies FIR against Tandav, tells Allahabad HC web series portrays God in derogatory matter

The court has adjourned the matter for ten days while granting Purohit interim protection till February 22 when the case will be heard next.

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The Uttar Pradesh government informed on Thursday to the Lucknow Bench of  the Allahabad High Court that, the web series Tandav, portrays God in a very derogatory manner and the public opinion after watching the web series was so provocative which prompted the State to lodge FIR against its makers.

Additional Advocate General Vinod Shahi sought time to file a detailed counter affidavit in this regard which was allowed by the single judge Bench of Justice Alok Mathur.

Additional Advocate General, representing the government opposed the Anticipatory bail plea of Aparna Purohit, Content Head at Amazon Prime (India), which is streaming the controversial show.

It is has been submitted by Advocate for the applicant that the applicant is Commercial Head of Amazon Prime Video and had purchased the rights of web series Taandav.

In the F.I.R. it has been stated that the contents of the said web series reveal commission of offences under Sections 66, 66-F and 67 IT Act, 2008(as amended) apart from Sections 153-A, 295, 505 (1) (b), 505 (2), 469 IPC.

It is further submitted on behalf of the applicant that all the offences as per IPC as well as the offences under Section 66, 66-F and 67 of Information Technology Act carry a maximum sentence of three years.

It is also submitted that a perusal of the first information report does not indicate commission of any offence under Section 66-F of the Information Technology Act and further it was submitted that similar case being Criminal Misc. Anticipatory Bail Application under Section 438 Cr.P.C. No.2640 of 2021 has engaged the attention of this Court at Allahabad wherein interim protection has been granted to the applicant vide its order dated February 4, 2021.

“Opposing the said submissions Vinod Shahi, Additional Advocate General has 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 submits 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”, the Court recorded in its order.

He further submits that he also needs time to seek complete instructions in the matter for which ten days’ time may be granted so that State can file a detailed counter affidavit.

“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 February 4, 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,” the order reads.

The court, therefore, adjourned the matter for ten days while granting Purohit interim protection till February 22 when the case will be heard next.

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