Tandav controversy: Allahabad HC rejects bail plea of Amazon Prime Video’s India content head. Image Source: IANS

February 26 : In a latest development on the Tandav legal issue, the Allahabad High Court rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by Aparna Purohit, head of content of the India Original, Amazon Prime Video. The plea was filed in connection with an FIR in Greater Noida, alleging that the makers of the controversial web series Tandav, that is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, has hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community. Aparna Purohit has been booked in 10 FIRs filed across the country. 

Rejecting Purohit’s bail plea on Thursday, a single-judge bench of Justice Sidharth said that the applicant was not vigilant and has acted irresponsibly, which led to her being open to criminal prosecution as she permitted streaming the series that is against the fundamental rights of the citizens of India. “... 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,” the High Court bench said.

The FIR lodged against Purohit and six others in Greater Noida alleged that under IPC provisions the web series promoted enmity between different groups and intended to outrage religious feelings of the people of India.

While rejecting Purohit’s application, Justice Siddharth said, "On the one hand, the sentiments of majority community have been hurt by display of the characters of their faith in a disrespectful manner and on the other hand, an attempt has been made to widen the gap between the higher castes and the scheduled castes when the object of the state is to bridge the gap between the different castes and communities and make the country a united force socially, communally and politically.” 

The court referred to the scenes which led to the furore, and said that the scenes in dispute are likely to cause disturbance and threats to public order. It also said that the scenes were shown disregarding Hindu gods and goddesses. It also said that the disclaimer that mentioned that the show is fictional “cannot be considered to be a ground for absolving the applicant of permitting the streaming of an objectionable movie online”.

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