The Delhi High Court on Monday said actors cannot be held liable for the lines they read from a show’s script while hearing a petition demanding that certain scenes from Netflix series Sacred Games be deleted as they allegedly defamed late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The court said that since all the episodes have already been aired, nothing new will come up, and adjourned the matter to Thursday, ANI reported.
The court also asked the advocate Nikhil Bhalla, who filed the public interest litigation, to justify why his plea is in the interest of the public, according to Medianama.
Bhalla, who is associated with the Congress, alleged that the show has scenes where derogatory language has been used against Rajiv Gandhi. The former prime minister is referred to as “fattu” in one of the scenes. While the word “fattu” was initially subtitled as “pussy”, it has since been changed to “wimp”. The petition also alleges that the show “incorrectly depicts historical events of the country like Bofors case, Shah Bano case, Babri Masjid case and communal riots”.
Meanwhile, Congress party member Rajeev Kumar Sinha has withdrawn a police complaint he had lodged in Kolkata on July 10 against Netflix and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, among others, for allegedly insulting the former prime minister. He also noted that the series “crosses all limits of decency and has taken the Indian film industry to a new low”.
Sinha reportedly said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on the show “opened my eyes to the fact that the martyred Rajiv Gandhi-ji’s sacrifices for the country cannot be impacted by a line or two in a serial”.
On July 14, Rahul Gandhi disapproved of demands to censor references to his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Sacred Games. “The BJP and the RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed and controlled,” Gandhi tweeted. “I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right.” The Congress president said his father lived and died in the service of India and “the views of a character on a fictional web series can never change that”.
Season one of Sacred Games, adapted from Vikram Chandra’s novel of the same name and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, consists of eight episodes. It was released on July 6. The series tells the story of Mumbai police officer Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), who is investigating the suicide of Mumbai ganglord Ganesh Gaitonde (Siddiqui). Radhika Apte plays a Research and Analysis Wing agent.
Sacred Games has also drawn brickbats from the Hindu Right Wing on Twitter, who allege that the series has hurt upper-caste Hindu sentiments. They have problems with several sequences.