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Mirzapur: Allahabad High Court Stays Arrest of Web Series Producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani

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Poster of 'Mirzapur'

Mirzapur 2, the controversial web series by Amazon Prime Video, got relief from legal action after the Allahabad High Court stayed the arrest of the series’ producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani.

A bench headed by Justices MK Gupta and Subash Chand directed the producers to cooperate with the police. It also sought a reply from the Uttar Pradesh government and the complainant.

The court was hearing a writ petition filed by the producers and has listed the case in the first week of March.

The police had filed a first information report (FIR) based on a complaint by journalist Arvind Chaturvedi against the petitioners. It was filed at the Kotwali Dehat Police Station in Mirzapur on January 17. The FIR stated that the web series depicts the town of Mirzapur in a bad light. It further said that it promotes illicit relationships, violence, casteism and shows the legal and judicial system in a poor manner.

The complaint led to Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and 67A of the IT Act to be invoked against the makers of the show.

A report by Live Law stated that the complainant had stated that his sentiments were hurt by the portrayal of Mirzapur. He felt that it was far removed from reality.

According to the Outlook, the counsel for Akhtar and Sidhwani argued that even if the allegations that were made in the FIR were true, there was no case that was made out against the petitioners.

The producers’ counsel said that the series was a work of fiction, which was mentioned in a disclaimer that aired before the start of each episode. According to Live Law, the counsel mentioned that the series should be seen as an exercise of artistic and creative freedom.

Mirzapur was originally released in 2018 and after its success, it was renewed for a second season, which was released on October 23, 2020.

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