Observing that the “very essence of democracy is that a creative artist is given the liberty to project the picture of the society in a manner he perceives”, the Delhi High Court Tuesday refused to restrain Netflix from airing web series ‘Hasmukh’.
“One of the prime forms of exposing the ills of the society is by portraying a satirical picture of the same. Stand-up comedians perform that very purpose. In their portrayal, they use satire and exaggerate the ills to an extent that it becomes a ridicule. In the humorous portrayal of the ills of the society the stand-up comedians use satire,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said in the order.
Dismissing the plea for interim injunction, the court remarked that granting it “would amount to interference in the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by our Constitution.” The order came on a suit by advocate Ashutosh Dubey, seeking injunction against Netflix and others from airing episodes of Hasmukh. The main suit is pending and parties have been directed to respond.
Dubey has sought deletion of some parts of the series, arguing that they contain derogatory remarks against the legal fraternity. He has argued that intent of the suit is not to highlight defamation of an individual but to restrain defendants from passing derogatory remarks on the legal community. Opposing the claim, Netflix and others concerned have submitted that the plaintiff has failed to show any prima facie case or any personal injury or violation of any right entitling him to grant of any injunction.
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