The Mumbai police have summoned filmmaker Karan Johar to record his statement in connection with the controversial All India Bakchod (AIB) Knockout event that was held in December 2013. HT tried to contact Johar, who is currently in London, through SMS and phone calls, but he was unavailable for a comment. The event was inspired by US celebrity roasts — an event where a celebrity is mocked — and it featured Johar as the ‘Roastmaster’ or host.
The event was held at Worli and its video was put up online a month later, but it ran into controversy after social activist Santosh Daundkar approached a city court in February 2014, calling the content of the roast ‘vulgar’. The court then ordered the police to register an FIR and submit an investigation report.
Johar was named as an accused in the case, for allegedly saying obscene words during the show. “We have summoned Karan Johar, which essentially means he will have to come to the Tardeo police station to give his statement. His statement will be an important part of the charge sheet that is yet to be submitted to the court,” said an officer from the Tardeo police station. The officer added they have not been able to talk to Johar personally as he is in London.
“We are in touch with his advocate, who is coordinating with us. We will take his statement in a few days,” the officer said.
The police said they will also summon actors Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone for their statements.
The officer said section 295 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for hurting religious sentiments) has been added to the FIR, but the police need the permission of the state’s chief secretary before submitting the charge sheet in court.
“We have enough evidence to support the charge and are gathering more evidence,” he said.
Following the court order, the Mumbai police registered an FIR at Tardeo police station against 14 people, including the president of the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) Jayantilal Shah, NSCI general secretary Ravinder Aggarwal (the event was held at NSCI), organisers of the roast, and Johar, Kapoor, Singh, Padukone, AIB members - Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya - Aditi Mittal, actor Alia Bhatt and Rajeev Masand.
The police have already recorded statements of the show’s organisers and members of AIB.