SC to hear anticipatory bail plea in Tandav row on Thursday

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the plea of Amazon Prime Video's India head Aparna Purohit against the Allahabad High Court order declining to entertain her anticipatory bail in connection with the FIRs lodged against her over web series 'Tandav'.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy, was scheduled to hear Purohit's petition on Wednesday, but it got up at lunch.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Purohit, submitted it as a very important matter and the court should consider it as early as possible.

The bench replied it will take up the matter tomorrow.

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In January, the top court refused to grant interim protection to Tandav crew from any coercive action and had asked them to move the concerned courts to seek bail in the matter.

Purohit has been accused of inappropriate depiction of Hindu deities, Uttar Pradesh police personnel and an adverse portrayal of a character in the role of prime minister in the web series.

On February 25, the Allahabad High Court declined to grant her anticipatory bail in the matter.

The High court had observed, "Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and are still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu gods and goddesses."

The High Court noted the tendency on the part of the Hindi film industry is growing and if not curbed in time, it may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order.

One Balbir Azad lodged an FIR on January 19 at Rabupura police station of Greater Noida.

Azad had alleged that the web series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses and depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a poor light.

Several other FIRs have also been lodged in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Delhi against the web series. Tandav', a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming recently on Amazon.

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