Allahabad High Court stayed the arrest of the directors and writers of the Amazon Prime web series “Mirzapur”. A case was registered against them allegedly for hurting religious and regional sentiments by portraying the wrong picture of Mirzapur town in their web series.
A division bench of Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Deepak Verma granted protection to Karan Anshuman, Gurmeet Singh, Puneet Krishna, and Vineet Krishna who are the writers and directors of the OTT series ‘Mirzapur-1’ and ‘Mirzapur-2’.
They have approached the High Court to quash the FIR registered against them under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of Indian Penal Code. The petitioners have also sought a stay on the investigation.
The court has also issued notice to the state of Uttar Pradesh and the complainant.
The FIR was lodged by Arvind Chaturvedi on January 17 in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. He alleged that the web series depicts Mirzapur town as anti-social and infested with crime. The complaint also alleged that the series also promotes illicit relationships besides portraying a polluted picture of the legal and judicial system.
The petitioners submitted before the court that the series is purely a work of fiction and is clarified in the form of disclaimer at the beginning of every episode. The petition further added that the disclaimer also clarifies that makers of the show respect all faiths and religions and that all places and events in the said series are completely fictional.
“The impugned FIR is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt by the first informant (complainant) who is a local journalist in the city of Mirzapur and is seeking political favours from the ruling party. By losing the impugned FIR, the first informant is trying to score political mileage and the fact that the State government is hand in gloves with the first informant is evident from the fact that the FIR was lodged on 17.01.2021 and in a span of four days, on 20.01.2021, a team of police officers were rushed to Mumbai to investigate the matter,” the plea stated.