A PIL has been filed before the Allahabad high court against streaming of web series “XXX- Season 2” on subscription-based video platform- ALT Balaji, for disrespecting the Indian Army and their uniforms.
The petition filed by one Anniruddha Singh, brother-in-law of an Indian soldier, seeks ban of the show produced by Ekta Kapoor, for allegedly tarnishing and maligning the social reputation of wives of army officers.
As per the petition, Episode 1 of the XXX- season 2 series, shows the wife of Ex-Colonel of the Indian Army to be an adulterous woman, who eventually tears of the Indian Army Uniform in an “erotic manner”.
The plea states,
“The depiction in broadcasting of this episode sends out the message that the wives of the officers of Indian Army indulge themselves in extra-marital affairs and performs Adultery behind the backs of the officers when they are serving the nation.“
The petition, filed through Advocates Ankur Verma, Abhinav Gaur and Dhananjai Rai further states that portrayal of lives of army officers’ spouse in such a derogatory light can cause “irreparable damage” to the mental peace and psychological health of the soldiers and may also have an adverse impact on their performance.
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The plea adds,
“the act of tearing apart the uniform of the Indian Army with the State Emblem of India is very disrespectful to the sentiments of Lakhs of officers retired and now serving in the Indian Army as it their pride and honor and not just a piece of cloth meant for entertainment.
…using the uniform in an erotic comedy-drama web series as a cheap prop is the not just callous and insensitive but an outrageous insult to it and the sentiments associated with it.“
It is submitted that the impugned representations are punishable under the Indecent Representation of Women ( Prohibition) Act 1986, the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 and various relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
It is further alleged that such representations are in clear violation of the dictum of the Supreme Court to block the publication or transmission of obscene material in any electronic form, transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act or conduct and also publishing or transmitting material depicting children in sexually explicit act or conduct forthwith.
The Petitioner submits that even though Freedom of Expression is a fundamental right, there are certain reasonable restrictions on speech, as contained under Article 19(2) of the Constitution that must also be observed.
The petitioner further adds that the armed forces are a special service and hence should be given differentiated treatment, in accordance with terms of Article 33 of the Indian Constitution. It prays for the ban on broadcasting of the XXX- Season 2 Web Series on the online platform ALT Balaji and any other platform for that matter. It states,
“This very article that takes away the basic right from armed forces implicitly expects safeguard of at least the honour of forces. Those safeguarding the country cannot be exposed to insults and mocking.“
The Petitioner further seeks that the respondents should pay exemplary costs that may be deposited in the National Defense Fund, so as to deter such actions in the future. The plea has further sought that the respondents should issue a public apology to the Indian Army, in a national Newspaper and on National Television.