SC protects filmmaker Leena Manimekalai from coercive action in connection with FIRs

The court recorded that the poster was not meant to insult religious feelings, but was inclusive in nature

January 20, 2023 12:36 pm | Updated 12:36 pm IST

Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai.

Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai. | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

The Supreme Court on January 20 protected the filmmaker Leena Manimekalai from coercive action on the basis of multiple FIRs filed in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh over the poster of her documentary titled ‘Kaali’. The filmmaker is facing several FIRs across States.

The court protected her from any other FIR which may be filed or already filed on the basis of the same poster. The SC also recorded that the poster was not meant to insult religious feelings, but was inclusive in nature.

The court observed that FIRs in multiple States would cause prejudice to her, and issued notice to States and other respondents.

The top court posted the case to February 20, 2023.

The Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit lodged a case against the documentary filmmaker for allegedly posting a derogatory image of a Hindu deity on her Twitter handle and “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion”.

Police said that Ms. Manimekalai was sharing the news about the launch of her new documentary film called ‘Kaali’. She wrote on June 2: “Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film - today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its “Rhythms of Canada”.

A senior police officer said that the content promoted enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race etc. and was prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony and was likely to disturb public tranquility. “Such types of posts are likely to cause hindrance in the normalcy process after the recent disturbances in certain parts of India, which killed a large number of people,” the officer, requesting anonymity, said.

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