Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ, allowed an appeal pertaining to an FIR filed against the petitioner’s in regard to a song named “Manikya Malaraya Poovi” been picturised in a manner that offends the sentiments of a particular community.

The present petition was filed by the actor, producer and director of the movie “Oru Adaar Love” in regard to a prayer being placed saying that no FIR should be entertained or any criminal complaint under Section 200 IPC for the picturization of the song “Manikya Malaraya Poovi”.

The contention as submitted before the Court by the petitioners was that the song is a traditional Muslim song of Kerala and they cannot be made liable for the same. The allegation in regard to the song was that it offends the sentiments of a particular community and that is the reason an FIR against it was filed under Section 295A. Further, it was submitted that the issue is not the song, it is the manner in which it has been picturized.

The bench while giving due consideration to the submissions of the parties along with the facts of the case, concluded its decision for the appeal by stating that on referring to Ramji Lal Modi v. State of U.P., AIR 1957 SC 620, it is clear that the above-stated Section 295 A IPC would not get attracted in the present matter. Further, the Court stated that solely because of the ‘wink’ picturization in the song would not amount to attempting to insult the religion or religious beliefs of a class of citizens and certainly the petitioners had no calculated intention to do the same. Therefore, the appeal was allowed with direction of no further FIRs to be entertained for the stated matter. [Priya Prakash Varrier v. State of Telangana, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1289, Order dated 31-08-2018]

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Supreme Court: The 3-judge Bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ came to the rescue of actress Priya Prakash Varrier, who shot into limelight after her ‘wink’ video went viral, by staying criminal proceedings against her in some states on the grounds that a song from her Malayalam film “Oru Adaar Love” allegedly hurt religious sentiments of the Muslim community. The Bench also granted similar relief to the director of the movie .

Besides staying the existing criminal proceedings, the bench also restrained all state governments from registering any further FIRs against the actress and the director with regard to the promotional video.

The 18-year-old Priya Prakash Varrier had sought protection from an FIR lodged on complaints alleging that the lyrics of the song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ from the movie was “offensive” and had “violated the religious sentiment of a particular community.

The plea said the claims that it hurt religious sentiments of the Muslim community are

“without any basis and what is hard to fathom is that a song which has been in existence for the past 40 years, which was written, sung and cherished by the Muslim community in Kerala is now being treated as an insult to the Prophet and his wife…. It is submitted that a song, which …. has been cherished by more than one crore Muslim population of Kerala, cannot suddenly offend the religious sentiments of the Muslim community”

Source: PTI

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Quashing the complaint filed against Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of people when an image of him being portrayed as Lord Vishnu was published in a magazine with a caption “God of Big Deals”, the Court said that Section 295A IPC does not stipulate everything to be penalised and any and every act would tantamount to insult or attempt to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of class of citizens. It penalise only those acts of insults to or those varieties of attempts to insult the religion or religious belief of a class of citizens which are perpetrated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of that class of citizens.

Explaining further, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, A.M.Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagouda, JJ said that insults to religion offered unwittingly or carelessly or without any deliberate or malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of that class do not come within the Section. Emphasis has been laid on the calculated tendency of the said aggravated form of insult and also to disrupt the public order to invite the penalty.

The Court also cautioned the Magistrates who have been conferred with the power of taking cognizance and issuing summons and said that they are required to carefully scrutinize whether the allegations made in the complaint proceeding meet the basic ingredients of the offence; whether the concept of territorial jurisdiction is satisfied; and further whether the accused is really required to be summoned. [Mahendra Singh Dhoni v. Yerraguntla Shyamsundar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 450, decided on 20.04.2017]