Court refuses protection to man accused of posting Amitabh’s deepfakes online | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Court refuses protection to man accused of posting Amitabh’s deepfakes online

ByRevu Suresh
Jul 07, 2024 06:56 AM IST

Mumbai court denies interim protection to man accused of uploading deepfakes of Amitabh Bachchan on Instagram, damaging actor's reputation.

MUMBAI:The sessions court on Saturday refused to grant interim protection from arrest to a 27-year-old man booked for allegedly uploading deepfakes of actor Amitabh Bachchan on Instagram, incorporating vulgar and objectionable dialogues, and damaging the reputation of the legendary actor.

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West Zone Cyber police booked the accused, Abhijeet Balaji Patil, after which he approached the sessions court for pre-arrest bail. Patil has been booked by the cyber police following a complaint lodged by Tarini Kulkarni, working with law firm Anand & Naik, which represents the actor, in the first week of May.

The complaint was lodged after Bachchan noticed that some fake videos of him were circulated online and instructed the law firm to take legal action. Following complaint lodged by Kulkarni, the cyber police registered an FIR under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 66(C), 66(D) and 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The investigation traced the videos to the Instagram handle of an ayurveda firm run by Patil, which allegedly used Bachchan’s deepfakes to share objectionable content.

The cyber police have opposed Patil’s anticipatory bail plea, stating that the accused had shared the video to defame Bachchan. The police stated that the accused shared it online with an “aim to incite the emotions of the audience, thereby harming the public and Amitabh Bachchan.”

Further, the police stated that the fans of the actor were cheated, and they cannot rule out the possibility that the videos would have been shared via different Instagram accounts. They added that during the investigation, they recorded statements from two employees of Patil’s firm, located in Rishikesh. The employees revealed that the accused used to edit videos, and voice samples, create deepfake videos and upload the same on an Instagram account accessible to him.

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