‘You Can’t Hurt Religious Sentiments’: SC Rejects Tandav Plea For Relief From Arrest

The Supreme Court Wednesday declined to grant interim protection from arrest to the makers of the Amazon web series Tandav, who are facing charges of hurting religious sentiments, but agreed to consider their plea for clubbing of FIRs registered in different states.“Approach High Court,” a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said as Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the petitioners, urged the bench to direct that no coercive action be taken against the petitioners. The bench also issued notice on the prayer to club the FIRs pending in different states.The bench did not seem to agree with advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, counsel for Tandav actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, who contended that the statements of the character cannot be attributed to the actor in person.To this, Justice Shah said that the actor would not have accepted the role without reading the script and added, “you cannot hurt religious sentiments of others”.Nariman pointed out that the objectionable parts, which allegedly hurt religious sentiments, have been removed and an apology tendered. Despite this, seven more FIRs have been filed even after that, he said.The bench pointed out that the prayer was for quashing the FIRs and sought to know why he was not approaching the high courts.The senior counsel replied that the FIRs were in six states “and it’s increasing every day”.Justice Shah remarked that police can file a closure report if the content has been removed and the apology tendered.