A Girgaon court has directed the Tardeo police station in Mumbai to register a first information report (FIR) against 14 people and others involved in the controversial AIB Roast show held on January 20 including producer-director Karan Johar, actor Ranvir Singh, Arjun Kapoor, actresses Deepika Padukone, and Alia Bhatt, stand up comedians, and venue officials among others.
The order was issued by C.S. Baviskar, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Girgaon Court based on a complaint filed by social activist, Santosh Daundkar through Advocate Ms. Abha Singh. The complaint was filed after the police failed to take cognisance of a written complaint submitted to the Tardeo Police Station. Under section 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a metropolitan court has the statutory jurisdiction over the place of offence.
The sections under which the complaint would be registered include section 120-b (criminal conspiracy), sections 294, 509 (speaking vulgar, obscene and pornographic words publicly before a women audience) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 67 and 66 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (circulation of obscene, pornographic content on the internet). The provisions of Bombay Police Act 1951, the Environment Protect Act, 1986, and Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 would also be included in the FIR.
The 14 persons include Jayantilal Shah, president of the National Sports Club of India (NSCI), Ravinder Aggarwal, secretary general of NSCI, organisers of AIB Roast programme, film critic Rajeev Masand, and popular stand up comedians like Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhatt, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya, and Aditi Mittal.
The NSCI runs the management of Sardar Ballabhbhai Patel Stadium at Haji Ali in Worli where the programme was held on January 20, and edited version of the show was uploaded on the YouTube, where it received over three million hits after it went viral on the internet.
Earlier, the Bund Garden police station in Pune had registered an FIR against AIB Roast.
The FIR comes two days after the Bombay High Court asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministery to file its say on the screening mechanism of YouTube uploads during the hearing of a petition filed by a law professor. The petition sought guidelines for a screen mechanism to keep a check on obscene and vulgar videos uploaded on YouTube.
The AIB Roast has filed an intervention plea opposing the petition, and arguing that the show was a humorous show for a private audience, and the private audience did not find the content offensive. “The language was excessive, but within the bounds of humour,” lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who appeared on behalf of AIB, told the court. The next hearing has been scheduled for March 3.