Allahabad HC rejects anticipatory bail plea of Aparna Purohit in ‘Tandav’ web series case

A single-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court has rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by Aparna Purohit, a top Amazon executive in India over a UP Police FIR in Noida.

Published: 26th February 2021 12:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2021 12:25 AM   |  A+A-

A still from 'Tandav' (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

A still from 'Tandav' (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Laced with some strong objections, the Allahabad High Court, on Thursday, passed an order rejecting the anticipatory bail plea filed by Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video in connection with an FIR where it was alleged that the makers of web thriller ‘Tandav’ had hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community.

‘Tandav,’ the web series is a strong comment on Indian political system including the student's politics on Amazon Prime Video.

Rejecting the application of Purohit, Single judge bench comprising, Justice Siddhartha observed that not only the sentiments of the majority community were hurt by the display of the characters of their faith in a disrespectful manner but an attempt was also made to widen the chasm 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.

Regarding the plea of the applicant that the charges levelled against her were not made out and that her company had not been impleaded as an accused, the court said that the fact remained that the applicant had not been vigilant and acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting screening of a web series which was against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty could not be protected by grant of anticipatory bail to her in the exercise of discretionary powers of this court.

The court also took affront of the fact that the applicant was not cooperating with the investigation in connection with an FIR lodged against her at the police station Hazratganj, Lucknow, where the court while entertaining her anticipatory bail application had granted her interim protection from arrest by the order dated February 11, 2021.

Taking notice of it, the court observed, “This conduct of the applicant shows that she has scant respect for the law of the land and her conduct further disentitles her to any relief from this court, since co-operation with investigation is a necessary condition for grant of anticipatory bail.”

Earlier, the court had reserved its order on February 4, 2021, directing the authorities concerned not to take any coercive action against Purohit till the pronouncement of the order.

The plea taken by the counsel for the petitioner was that the web series ‘Tandav’ was a work of fiction. There was no intention of the applicant to outrage the religious feeling of any community.

An FIR was lodged on the complaint of one Balbir Azad of Raunija village under Rabupura police station of Greater Noida on January 19, 2021, alleging that the series depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a bad light.

It further alleged that the series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses. The Prime Minister of India has been depicted going against democratic norms and deliberate comments have been made to disturb caste and communal amity in the society.


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