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Tandav row: SC declines protection from arrest to Director of web series, others

The row over Tandav intensified on Wednesday as the Supreme Court’s responses remained unfavourable for the Amazon web series’ filmmakers.

The SC declined interim protection from arrest to Ali Abbas Zafar, the director of the web series and others who were mentioned in FIRs filed in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. It added that they seek bail from the concerned courts.

 

The SC was hearing a batch of pleas seeking the quashing of criminal complaints lodged in various states against the Director of web series, and others for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

The case was heard by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah.

SC notices were sent to UP, MP and Karnataka on pleas made to quash the FIRs filed against the series’ director and others.

Besides Zafar, Amazon Prime India head Aparna Purohit, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show’s writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub had filed three separate petitions against the registration of FIRs in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The first four have been booked in Lucknow under sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race and so on), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 501 (1)(B) (public mischief with intent to cause fear or alarm) of the IPC and under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.

At least three FIRs have been lodged against the makers and artistes of “Tandav” in Uttar Pradesh – at Lucknow, Greater Noida and Shahjahanpur – for the alleged inappropriate depiction of UP Police personnel, deities, and adverse portrayal of a character playing the role of prime minister in the show.

Similar FIRs have been lodged against people associated with the making and airing of the web series in states like MP, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

FIRs were filed despite the makers of Tandav web series issuing an unconditional apology and also removing the contentious scenes from the nine-episode series.
(With inputs from PTI)