SC quashes FIR against Priya Varrier over 'wink'

SC quashes FIR against Priya Varrier over 'wink'

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that no FIR can be registered against actor Priya Prakash Varrier for a wink scene in a song in Malayalam movie 'Oru Adaar Love' for an offence of hurting religious sentiments of the Muslim community.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud noted the folk song, shot with Varrier, has been in public domain since 1978 and it cannot be termed as blasphemous.

“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. The said song has been on Youtube since February 2018,” the bench said.

The court quashed an FIR lodged by Telangana police on February 14 against the 18-year-old actor from Thrissur and producer and director of the movie under Section 295A of the IPC, finding no “calculated tendency” by the petitioners to insult or to disturb public order.

The song 'Manikya Malaraya Poovi' has become a rage as it was seen by lakhs of people.

During the hearing, a counsel, appearing for the person who filed a complaint, contended he has no problem with regard to the song as it is a folk song but his grievance related to the very manner of picturisation.

“The informant in all possibility has been an enthusiast to gain a mileage from the FIR, though the same was really not warranted. What is urged before us is that picturisation which involves the actress with a wink is blasphemous. Barring that there is no other allegation. Such an allegation, even if it is true, would not come within the ambit and sweep of Section 295A IPC,” the bench said.

The court allowed the petition filed by Varrier and others and directed no FIR or private complaint should be entertained against the petitioners on the basis of the picturisation of the song.

The court also relied upon previous orders passed in the case of movie 'Padmavat' and cricketer M S Dhoni and a judgement by Constitution bench in 'Ramji Lal Modi' to conclude Section 295A cannot be attracted here. 

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