The Allahabad High Court on Thursday granted interim protection from arrest to Amazon Prime Video’s India Content Head Aparna Purohit in a case lodged against her in connection with the web series Tandav, Bar and Bench reported.
While reserving the order on Purohit’s anticipatory bail plea, Justice Siddharth said, “Till the pronouncement of order no coercive action shall be taken against the applicant.”
A first information report was lodged in Lucknow against the makers of the Amazon Prime Video’s new web series on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and promoting enmity on grounds of religion. Besides Purohit, the FIR named director of Tandav, Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra and writer Gaurav Solanki.
On January 27, the Supreme Court had refused to grant the makers and actors of the Amazon Prime web series protection from arrest. “Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute,” the court had said.
The web series purportedly provides a commentary on India’s political scene under the Narendra Modi government. The show touches upon farmer agitations to student protests to police killings – all events that have happened under the administration of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Apart from Uttar Pradesh, FIRs against the show were also filed Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. At least three complaints are also pending in Delhi, Chandigarh and Maharashtra.
Several other members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had insisted that the government pull the series off air or take out key scenes.
Amid the intensifying backlash, Amazon Prime Video had last month caved and agreed to make changes to the series. “We have utmost respect for the sentiments of the people of our country,” said a statement from the cast and crew. The show’s director had said that the team had no intention to hurt or offend the sentiments of any caste, race, community or religion.