The Supreme Court on Friday quashed an FIR lodged against actor Priya Prakash Varrier for allegedly hurting sentiments of the Muslim community after a clip of her song in an upcoming Malayalam movie ‘Oru Adaar Love’, in which she was seen winking, went viral on the social media. The court also pulled up the complainant and observed that the FIR was lodged “to gain mileage”.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud quashed the FIR lodged in Telangana against the actor and the film’s director Omar Lulu saying the picturisation of the song would not attract the provision of Section 295A of the IPC which deals with “deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”.
The bench said, “We are inclined to think so for the picturisation of the said song solely because of the ‘wink’ would not tantamount to an insult or attempt to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of a class of citizens.”
It added that “the said song has been on YouTube since February 2018” and “we do not perceive that any calculated tendency is adopted by the petitioners to insult or to disturb public order to incite the wrath of Section 295A of IPC”.
The court also restrained police across the country from registering any FIR on complaints against the picturisation of the song. It also pulled up the person, who lodged the FIR, observing it was “in all possibility” done “to gain mileage”.
The complaint against the song was that objectionable scenes had been superimposed with lyrics that were in written in praise of Prophet Mohammed and his wife Khadeeja Beevi.
CJI Misra also said that audiences should watch movies with maturity, honesty and intellectual tolerance. Appearing for Varrier and Lulu, advocate Haris Beeran pointed out that the song in question was a Malayalam folk song in existence since 1978.
The apex court had on February 21 stayed criminal proceedings against Varrier in some states, filed on the grounds that a song from her film allegedly hurt sentiments of the Muslims.