The Supreme Court will hear on March 3 an appeal filed by Amazon Prime’s Commercial Head, Aparna Purohit against the Allahabad High Court order that denied her anticipatory bail in the ongoing investigation against the web series ”Tandav”.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan will hear the appeal of Ms Purohit on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Amazon Prime Video issued a statement that said the video streaming platform “again deeply regrets that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable in the recently launched fictional series Tandav.”
“This was never our intention, and the scenes that were objected to were removed or edited when they were brought to our attention. We respect our viewers’ diverse beliefs and apologize unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt by these scenes.
“Our teams follow company content evaluation processes, which we acknowledge need to be constantly updated to better serve our audiences. We will continue to develop entertaining content with partners while complying with the laws of India and respecting the diversity of culture and beliefs of our audiences,” it added.
The Allahabad High Court on February 25 declined to give protection from arrest to Purohit by dismissing the anticipatory bail application of her.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against the top Amazon Prime executive for the “derogatory depiction of Hindu deities” and promoting religious enmity through the series.
The High Court in its order noted that “such people make the revered figures of the religion of majority community source of earning money in a most brazen manner taking benefit of the liberal and tolerant tradition of the country.”
Making strong observations while rejecting Purohit”s anticipatory bail plea in a case filed against her in Noida, Justice Siddharth said, “The 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.”
Earlier on January 27, the Supreme Court had refused to grant interim protection from arrest to actor Zeeshan Ayyub and makers of web series ”Tandav” and allowed them to approach High Courts for relief from arrest or quashing of FIRs.
Justice Ashok Bhushan while denying to grant interim protection from arrest however had agreed to hear the issue of transferring and clubbing several FIRs registered against them across the country and issued notice to complainants on the prayer.
”Tandav” actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Purohit, and the makers had approached the top court seeking protection from arrest on the FIRs registered against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and telecasting objectionable content.
”Tandav”, a nine-episode political thriller that started streaming in January this year on Amazon Prime Over The Top (OTT) platform, featuring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, and Ayyub, has created an uproar for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
The petitions filed in January had requested the top court that criminal proceedings initiated against them for offenses including hurting religious sentiments be quashed or alternatively club all the seven FIRs registered in different states and transfer them to a court in Mumbai.
Three FIRs were registered in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Noida, and Shahjahanpur, two FIRs were lodged in Madhya Pradesh while one FIR each was lodged in Karnataka and Bihar. Apart from the FIRs, at least three other criminal complaints are pending in Maharashtra, Delhi, and Chandigarh respectively.
FIRs were registered for the alleged inappropriate depiction of Uttar Pradesh Police personnel, deities, and adverse portrayal of a character playing the role of prime minister in the show.
FIRs mentions that the show portrayed the Hindu deity, Shiva, in “a poor light” as the actor playing him on-screen was shown using foul language.