"We don't like the High Court order": Supreme Court grants Ekta Kapoor interim protection from arrest in FIR over web series "XXX"

Last month, the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court had dismissed a plea moved by Kapoor to have the case quashed.
"We don't like the High Court order": Supreme Court grants Ekta Kapoor interim protection from arrest in FIR over web series "XXX"

The Supreme Court today granted filmmaker Ekta Kapoor interim protection from arrest in the FIR filed against her for the allegedly objectionable content in the second season of the Alt Balaji web series XXX.

Last month, the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court had dismissed a plea moved by Kapoor to have the case quashed.

"We don't like the High Court order": Supreme Court grants Ekta Kapoor interim protection from arrest in FIR over web series "XXX"
No longer in "flowers cuddling" era but whether obscene or not must be tested: MP HC declines to quash FIR against Ekta Kapoor over "XXX" episode

"We don't like the Madhya Pradesh High Court order", remarked Chief Justice of India SA Bobde today while granting Kapoor interim relief in the plea moved challenging the High Court order.

In his November 11 order, Justice Shailendra Shukla of the Madhya Pradesh High Court opined that applying the test of obscenity from the point of view of an ordinary person, there was some substance in the State's stance that the XXX episode could cater to the prurient interest of a normal major person.

The High Court added that "it is through leading of evidence only, that the test of obscenity would be affirmed", while declining to quash the FIR against Kapoor.

Interestingly, the High Court also commented on the evolution of the sensitivity of Indian audiences in such matters, observing:

"The Indian audiences have of course come of age from the times of two flowers cuddling each other symbolizing male and female union to more explicit manners of displaying such activity. Still, the acceptable norms of permissiveness in the society cannot be equated with declining moral values. What is patently obscene from an ordinary person's point of view, would remain to be so for all times to come. There is always a thin line between what are acceptable limits of display of physical intimacy and obscenity."

The FIR was filed against Ekta Kapoor, being the Managing Director of ALT Balaji which airs the show, alleging that Episode 1 of Season 2 in the show “XXX” was obscene, hurtful of religious sentiments and disrespectful of the National Emblem.

The FIR cited offences under Sections 294, 298 and 34 of the IPC, Sections 67 and 67-A of IT Act and Section 3 of State Emblem Act. The Emblem Act and Section 298, IPC charges were, however, quashed by the High Court in its November order.

Senior Advocates Harish Salve, Mukul Rohtagi and Siddharth Luthra along with Advocates Anuj Berry, Nitesh Jain, Chaitanya Safaya, Adrish Majumdar, Rishab Sharma and SS Shroff (AOR) appeared for Ekta Kapoor.

Read the order:

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Ekta Kapoor case - December 17 order.pdf
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