PIL against us is vague and indefinite: AIB

February 11, 2015 03:18 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:36 pm IST - MUMBAI:

The Public Interest Litigation filed against AIB Roast is an abuse of the process of law, AIB (All India Bakchod) said on Tuesday. In its first appearance before the Bombay High Court in the form of an intervention application, AIB said that the PIL filed by a law professor was not maintainable. They termed the PIL as "vague and indefinite".

"The petitioner has failed to show any real and genuine public interest and appears to be an adventure to poke the authorities into a probe. The prayer of the petitioner is premature and without any bona fide grounds," the intervention plea filed by senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani on behalf of AIB, stated.

AIB, formed by four stand-up comedians -- Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Gursimran Khamba and Ashish Shakya, had performed a comedy show "All India Bakchod Knockout Championship" for charity, along with a few Bollywood personalities including Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. The show was organised for a private audience of 4000 on December 20, 2014, in Mumbai.

Soon after it was uploaded on YouTube last month, the show gained popularity and brickbats. After criticism and complaints, a PIL was subsequently filed in the Bombay High Court seeking action against the organisers of the show for "using obscene, vulgar and indecent language in public and also uploading video of the same for making it available to the public at large."

On Tuesday, AIB intervened in the PIL, claiming that it directly affected their livelihoods and "further purport(ed) to jeopardise the fundamental rights of the interveners."

They questioned the bona fide of the petitioner, and questioned the public interest involved in her petition. 

"It is a settled position that the weapon of Public Interest Litigation has to be used with great care and circumspection and the judiciary has to be extremely careful to see that behind the veil of public interest an ugly private malice, vested interest, and/ or publicity seeking is not lurking," the intervention plea stated.

It said that the law professor who filed the PIL had failed to "satisfy the court her credentials, the prima facie correctness or nature of the information and the gravity and seriousness involved in her petition."

AIB said that the professor had directly approached the court without going to any arm of the government, or without filing any complaint against them anywhere. They said that only one FIR was registered against them in Pune, and that they were completely co-operating with the authorities. 

AIB said that the PIL failed to show how the "pecuniary interest or some interest or the legal rights or liabilities of any community or class have been affected."

The court admitted their intervention plea and granted two weeks to file reply, if any, to the PIL. The matter will be heard next on March 3.

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