Lucknow: Big relief to the makers of the web series ‘Mirzapur’ Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani after the Allahabad High Court stayed their arrest on an FIR filed against them for hurting religious sentiments and indecent portrayal of district Mirzapur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
A division bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Subhash Chand granted the stay on Friday on an application moved by Akhtar and Sidhwani to stay their arrest. The court, however, asked them not to leave the country till the pendency of the case and cooperate in the investigation.
The two-member bench also issued notices to the state government and complainant to file their replies while fixing the next hearing of the case in the first week of March.
An FIR was filed against the producers of the web series in Kotwali Dehat in Mirzapur district under Sections 295A, 504 and Section 67 of the Information and Technology Act. The main charge against the accused was indecent and improper portrayal of district Mirzapur which may hurt religious, social and regional sentiments leading to enmity.
The Complainant alleged in the FIR that the web series impacted the society to such an extent that people known to him have started calling him “Kaleem Bhaiyya”. Supporting the Complainant, the state counsel stated before court that the web series promotes illicit relationships and incites religious feelings which may have adverse effects on the society.
The Counsel for Akhtar and Sidhwani, however, vehemently denied charges against Akhtar and Sidhwani. He argued that “the story of the web series Mirzapur was fictional and as such no case under Section 295A and 504 could be made against his clients.
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