Tandav row: Prime Video content head gets protection from arrest

Tandav row: Prime Video content head gets protection from arrest

Counsel argued there was no intention to outrage the religious feelings of a community.


NEW DELHI: The Allahabad high court on Thursday granted Amazon Prime Video head of India originals Aparna Purohit protection against coercive action in the FIR lodged against her in connection with the web series Tandav.

While the high court reserved order on the anticipatory bail application filed by Purohit, justice Siddharth stated that "till the pronouncement of order no coercive action shall be taken against the applicant." This essentially means that Purohit cannot be arrested or taken in for questioning till the court approves or denies her bail plea.

Aside from Purohit, FIR was also registered against Tandav director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra and writer Gaurav Solanki.

Soon after its release on the video streaming platform in January 2021, Tandav found itself in hot water as sections of the populace and members of political parties alleged that the web series denigrated Hindu deities.

During the hearing, Purohit's counsel argued that the web series “was a work of fiction. There was no intention of the applicant to outrage the religious feeling of any community."

An FIR was lodged in Lucknow against the makers of the show on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and promoting enmity on grounds of religion. An FIR was also lodged in Gautam Buddha Nagar on allegations of disturbing communal amity and peace. Complaints were also filed in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Amid the backlash, Amazon Prime Video had agreed to make changes to the series and edited out the supposedly offensive scenes. The furore over Tandav, however, has refused to die down.

The makers and actors of the political drama had moved the Supreme Court asking it to grant them interim protection from arrest, but the bench rejected their plea. “Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute,” the court had pronounced.