FIR against web series “Mirzapur” is prima facie inaccurate, says Allahabad HC

Background
The First Information Report that was registered against the petitioners, under Section 67 – A of Information Technology Act and Sections 295 – A, 504, 505 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), on 17th January 2021 at Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, alleges that the web series portrays an inaccurate, indecent and improper representation of the town of Mirzapur.
The complainant in the FIR claims that the portrayal of Mirzapur in such a crass manner has hurt their sentiments and such action must be taken against the makers.

Present Matter
A plea has been filed in this matter in the Allahabad HC

Submission of the Petitioner

  1. Registering an FIR under Section 295 – A of the Indian Penal Code is wrong because of the lack of clarity regarding the essential elements of the offense.
  2. The FIR is a violation of the fundamental right of free speech and expression, under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, of the petitioners.
  3. The Court was informed that before each episode they have a disclaimer stating that the web series is fictional and that the intention of the producers is not to hurt the sentiment of any community.
  4. There has been an inordinate delay in registering the FIR considering that it took the complainant three months even after the release of the second season to take any action against the web series.

Observation of the court

The Division Bench, comprising of Justice Subhash Chand and Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta, of the Allahabad High Court, observed that the submission made by the petitioners that the First Information Report is not accurate and that prima facie the petitioners have not committed the offences alleged in the FIR.

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