Freedom of expression

Actor Priya Varrier moves Supreme Court, wants the case against her viral song quashed

She said in her plea that the case violated her freedom of speech and expression.

Actor Priya Prakash Varrier and the makers of the upcoming Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking to quash the cases filed against a song in the film that has gone viral on social media, Bar and Bench reported. In their petition, they said the case violated their freedom of speech and expression and right to life and liberty.

The petition also said the original song had been part of local culture in Kerala since the 1970s, without any controversy. It said a song that had been “cherished by more than 1 crore Muslims” in Kerala cannot “suddenly offend” their sentiments.

The plea is likely to be taken up on Tuesday by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, The Indian Express reported.

On February 14, a group of men filed a complaint at the Falaknuma Police Station in Hyderabad against the song Manikya Malarayi Poovi from the upcoming Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love. The complainants alleged that the song’s video insults Prophet Mohammad. Varrier is seen winking at a male student in the video.

The police then filed a case against the film’s director Omar Lulu for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. On Saturday, the police sent Lulu a notice seeking a reply within 15 days, PTI reported.

On February 15, Hyderabad-based Islamic seminary Jamia Nizamia had issued a fatwa, demanding that the government remove the song from the film.

The film’s director, Omar Lulu, has earlier told Scroll.in that the song’s title, Manikya Malaraya Poovi, means “a pearl flower that is very precious”. He added that the song is about the love story of the Prophet Mohammad and his first wife.

Oru Adaar Love is due for an Eid release in June.

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