'Tandav' row: Allahabad HC denies bail to Amazon's top executive
Amazon Prime Original web series Tandav has received another legal setback. The anticipatory bail plea of Aparna Purohit, the India Content Chief of Amazon Prime Video, was rejected by the Allahabad High Court. Purohit has been named in 10 FIRs across the country and faces accusations of hurting religious sentiments, promoting religious enmity through the series, and defiling a place of worship.
What is the case against the Amazon executives?
The anticipatory bail plea that the HC rejected was filed in connection with a case lodged in Greater Noida against Purohit and six others. The case was filed under relevant IPC sections for the aforementioned allegations. It must be noted that Purhoit managed to secure protection from arrest in a separate case filed by the police in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
HC noted Purohit acted irresponsibly
Making strong observations against the plea, a single-judge bench of Justice Siddharth said, "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." Even while making a fictional show, citizens must respect "people of other faith," he added.
Calling the show 'fictional' isn't enough
Justice Siddharth further added that tendering of an unconditional apology doesn't acquit one from their act of crime and indiscretion. The ruling also pointed out that putting a disclaimer about show being fictional "cannot be considered to be a ground for absolving the applicant of permitting the streaming of an objectionable movie online". The HC signed a 20-page order in this case.
Even Western filmmakers don't mock Jesus, Prophet: HC
HC pointed out that even Western filmmakers have refrained from mocking Lord Jesus or the Prophet "but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu Gods and Goddesses." The recent incident of Munawar Faruqui, the comedian who was granted bail by the Supreme Court, was also mentioned. HC said the "trend" for movies has passed to comedy shows.
'People misusing tolerant tradition of country to earn money'
"Such people make the revered figures of the religion of majority community source of earning money in a most brazen manner taking benefit of the liberal and tolerant tradition of the country," the HC went on.