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AIB Roast: Seven months on, Mumbai Police to call Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Karan Johar for questioning

In February this year, social activist Santosh Daundkar filed a complaint with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Girgaon court claiming that the show was ‘pre-scripted’ and ‘vulgar’.

Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: October 15, 2015 9:05:31 am
AIB knockout, AIB Roast, Bombay High Court, AIB controversy, AIB row, AIB actors, Ranveer Singh, arjun Kapoor, Karan Johar Inspired by US celebrity roasts, AIB Knockout (a comedy event where a celebrity is mocked) featured celebrated Bollywood director Karan Johar as its ‘Roastmaster’ (host) ragging on actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor.

Nearly seven months after an FIR was registered against All India Bakchod Knockout (AIB Knockout), Mumbai Police plans to summon the two actors and the director who were the part of the controversial show.

Inspired by US celebrity roasts, AIB Knockout (a comedy event where a celebrity is mocked) featured celebrated Bollywood director Karan Johar as its ‘Roastmaster’ (host) ragging on actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor by joking about their on-screen and off-screen lives. The trio will soon be summoned to record their statements.

“We want to wind up investigations and therefore their statements will be recorded as per procedure,” said Joint Commissioner of Police ( Law and Order) Deven Bharti.

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Senior officials said that after questioning the three Bollywood personalities, police will also record the statements of Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt on whom the jokes were cracked.

The controversial event was held at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium inside the National Sports Council of India (NSCI) in Worli on December 20, 2013, and uploaded on You Tube on January 28, 2014. However, it ran into controversy after its content was alleged to be ‘obscene’ and ‘vulgar’.

In February this year, social activist Santosh Daundkar filed a complaint with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Girgaon court claiming that the show was ‘pre-scripted’ and ‘vulgar’, ‘obscene’ and ‘pornographic’. The court ordered an FIR to be filed. Following the court’s directive, an FIR was filed against NSCI president Jayantilal Shah, NSCI secretary general Ravinder Aggarwal and participants in the AIB Roast including Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhatt, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya, Aditi Mittal, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and Rajeev Masand under certain sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy, hurting reli­gious feelings and common intent.

With controversies mounting, on February 3, 2015, AIB Knockout was removed from YouTube by the AIB team. So far, police have recorded the statements of the organisers, Only Much Louder (OML), the AIB team and also two of the panelists including film critic Rajeev Masand and former Roadies judge Raghu Ram.

During the probe, police stumbled upon two scripts – one submitted prior to the show and another after the probe began. Investigations revealed that the script of a September 2014 show was submitted to the state government’s Directorate of Cultural Affairs while seeking permission for the expletive-laden AIB Knockout. The show enacted on January 20, 2014 was done using a script that was never approved.

The actors and the director will be questioned on the two different scripts. Zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police S Jayakumar said, “There are certain questions we need to ask those named in the FIR and therefore their statements will be recorded as per procedure. They will be summoned for the same.”

The statements will be part of the Final Report which the agency will submit to the State Home Department for further action. “Since section 295 (A) (hurting religious sentiments) is invoked, we have to send the report to the State Home Department for prosecution sanction. A chargesheet can be filed only after prosecution sanction is obtained,” added the officer.

The Controversy

*  The event held inside National Sports Council of India in Worli on December 20, 2013, was uploaded on YouTube on January 28, 2014. The show invited criticism with viewers terming its content ‘obscene’ and ‘vulgar’.

*  In February, social activist Santosh Daundkar filed a complaint with the chief metropolitan magistrate of Girgaon court, saying the show was ‘pornographic’ in nature. The court ordered that an FIR be lodged.

*  FIR was filed against NSCI president Jayantilal Shah, secretary-general Ravinder Aggarwal and AIB Roast participants including Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhatt, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya, Aditi Mittal, Deepika Padukone, Aalia Bhatt, Rajeev Masand, and Arjun Kapoor, under certain sections of IPC  including that of criminal conspiracy, hurting reli­gious feelings and common intent.

*  On February 3, 2015, AIB team removed the show from YouTube.  As part of the probe, police have so far recorded statements of the organisers, Only Much Louder (OML), the AIB team, and also two of the panellists — film critic Rajeev Masand and former Roadies judge Raghu Ram.

rashmi.rajput@expressindia.com

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