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Tandav makers can approach HCs for relief: SC

The top court agreed to modify its Wednesday’s order to clarify that the petitions were dismissed only under Article 32 (for violation of fundamental rights) and not on merits.
On Wednesday, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had declined to grant interim protection from arrest to Luthra’s clients, besides Bollywood actor Zeeshan Ayyub and Amazon Prime (India) creative head Aparna Purohit.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photos)
Published on Jan 29, 2021 05:13 AM IST
ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

HTThe Supreme Court on Thursday clarified that its refusal to quash the seven FIRs lodged against the actors and makers of web series Tandav, and streaming platform Amazon Prime’s head across the country, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, will not come in the way of their approaching the respective high courts for relief.

Following a request by senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, the top court agreed to modify its Wednesday’s order to clarify that the petitions were dismissed only under Article 32 (for violation of fundamental rights) and not on merits.

Luthra was appearing for Tandav director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Kishan Mehra and writer Gaurav Solanki.

On Wednesday, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had declined to grant interim protection from arrest to Luthra’s clients, besides Bollywood actor Zeeshan Ayyub and Amazon Prime (India) creative head Aparna Purohit. The top court had said that all of them may seek bail from courts concerned in the FIRs lodged in connection with the web series.

Luthra said that had the bench not mentioned that the dismissal of the plea was only under Article 32, the petitioners would not be able to secure relief from any high court in the country.

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“Which high court will entertain our petitions either under Article 226 (a writ petition) or under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (quashing of FIRs) if this court doesn’t clarify that our petitions were not entertained under Article 32 and not otherwise? If the clarification doesn’t come through, our reliefs will be foreclosed,” Luthra submitted before the bench, which also included justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

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