HC notice to Punjab on plea by Raveena, Farah; 'no coercive steps to be taken against them'

HC notice to Punjab on plea by Raveena, Farah; 'no coercive steps to be taken against them'

Raveena Tandon and Farah Khan. Photo: Instagram

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 23

Less than a month after the registration of a case against film personalities Raveena Tandon and Farah Khan for hurting religious sentiments, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notice of motion to Punjab and another respondent.

Taking up the matter, Justice Ashok Kumar Verma issued directions against the initiation of coercive steps against the two.

They had moved the court seeking the quashing of the case.

In the petition filed through counsel Abhinav Sood, the two had also sought directions for staying all further proceedings.

An FIR for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs was registered under Section 295-A of the IPC at Ajnala police station on December 25.

Sood submitted in the petition on the behalf of the two that the FIR was illegal, bad in law and was required to be quashed. Referring to the allegations in the FIR, Sood said the petitioners were accused of making a joke of a word and playing with religious sentiments of a particular community.

Sood said the two were guests/participants and producer/anchor of a show telecast on a digital platform. Describing the allegations as “unjustified, false and incorrect”, Sood submitted that there was nothing that could lead to the presumption that the act was intended to hurt the religious sentiments of a community. It could not even be said that the act remotely qualified to constitute an offence under Section 295-A of the IPC. Tandon, being a participant-guest in the show ‘Back Benchers’, had only spelled the word.

Sood said Tandon and another Bollywood personality Bharti Singh were asked to spell the word and also disclose its meaning. While Tandon spelt it correctly, Bharti misspelt it. It apparently meant that Bharti did not know the word and was referring to another word in Hindi.

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