Bombay HC grants pre-arrest bail to makers of web series ‘Tandav’

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted transit anticipatory bail to Tandav web series director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra, Amazon content head Aparna Purohit and writer Gaurav Solanki enabling them to seek regular pre-arrest bail from Uttar Pradesh.

The three-week anticipatory transit bail was granted by Justice PD Naik days after the Hazratganj Police in UP booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for allegedly portraying Hindu gods in a bad light in the web series ‘Tandav’, which released on streaming platform Amazon Prime.

Also Read | FIR against makers of Saif Ali Khan starrer Tandav for hurting religious sentiments

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Infact the UP Police had reached Mumbai to investigate the case. The four accused represented by senior advocate Aabad Ponda and advocate Aniket Nikam argued that their clients were wrongfully implicated in the present FIR without any role being assigned to them independently and therefore they should be granted four weeks of transit pre-arrest bail.

In their application, they say that the FIR does not specify any instance from the web series that could actually be deemed as an indecent portrayal of any gods or goddesses.

“The primary allegation by the Complainant as stated therein is that the content of the web-series has depicted Hindu deities in an indecent manner which is hurtful to religious sentiments and has depicted caste inequality which is hurtful to caste sentiments.

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However, the FIR does not specify/ identify/ describe /elaborate any specific instance in the web-series which may be deemed as indecent depiction of any gods and goddesses for being hurtful to religious sentiments or amount to any offences as alleged.”

They further claimed they were being maliciously prosecuted. “It is submitted that the Applicants are innocent and are being maliciously prosecuted. It is submitted that the Applicants have not done any act in order to attract the offences as alleged in the FIR.” The application reads.

They were booked under Sections 153-A, 295, 505(1)(b), 505(2) and 469 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and under Sections 66, 66F and 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000, however none of the sections in the FIR actually apply to them.

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