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HC continues relief to actors, film-maker in obscenity case

The Bombay High Court Thursday continued an earlier order restraining Mumbai Police from filing its charge sheet or taking coercive steps against actors Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and director Karan Johar and others accused in an obscenity case.

The celebrities had approached the high court in 2015 after a case was lodged against them in February that year under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 292 and 294 pertaining to obscenity.

A charity event by the name of ‘Roast’ was arranged by comedy group AIB in December 2014. The video of the event was uploaded by the AIB in January 2015.

The video was removed a few days later after it faced ire for its alleged vulgar and obscene content.

In February 2015, an activist, Santosh Daundkar, filed a complaint before a court here seeking direction to police to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against AIB’s founders and the show producers and celebrities who took part in it.

A magistrate court had then ordered that an FIR be registered against 10 people, including AIB founder Rohan Joshi, film-maker Karan Johar, and actors Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Deepika Padukone.

After the FIR was lodged, the accused persons moved the high court seeking for the case to be quashed.

In 2015, the HC had directed police not to take any coercive steps or file charge sheet in the case.

When the petitions came up for hearing on Thursday, Daundkar’s advocate Aditya Pratap sought for a stay on the probe to be vacated and to permit the police to finish its investigation and file a charge sheet.

A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and S V Kotwal, however, refused to do so and said since the petitions are directed to be tagged with a public interest litigation (PIL) on the same issue, the HC registry department shall do the needful and place matters before the appropriate bench.

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