The year 2021 hasn't started on a good note for Amazon Prime Video. After Tandav, Amazon's yet another web show has come under the radar. According to a report by legal news portal Live Law, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, video streaming service Amazon Prime Video, and makers of crime drama Mirzapur - Excel Entertainment - in a plea seeking a ban on the series.
Also, there has been a demand to regulate the content of films and web series coming up on various OTT platforms. While the petitioner's lawyer said the case might have been infructuous now, CJI-led bench admitted the PIL for a hearing.
Mirzapur lands in trouble
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard the plea filed by Sujeet Kumar Singh, a resident of Mirzapur, who said the intent of the plea is to protect the historical and cultural value of the district located in Uttar Pradesh, which the show attempts to mar through its violent and explicit portrayal.
A team of Uttar Pradesh Police landed in Mumbai to follow-up on the FIR filed in Lucknow
Reportedly, cops from Mirzapur have arrived in Mumbai to investigate further an FIR against the web series, filed in Mirzapur. As per the latest reports, three officials are at the DCP Crime Branch office in Mumbai, taking necessary permission and local assistance for further investigation. Once the cops get permission, they will be questioning all those who were named in the FIR.
"We have filed an FIR against web series Mirzapur and makers Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Amazon Prime Video. We are here at the Crime Branch office to take necessary permission from the DCP," an officer said.
However, since the DCP wasn't present at his office today, the team will have to come back to take the necessary permissions.
Why is the case filed against the makers of Mirzapur?
A report in Live Law states, "By showing every resident of Mirzapur as a "goon, vagabond and adulterer in front of the country", the petition says, the web series has "completely tarnished the historical and cultural image of the city/district" which is famous for its religious and natural spots. Apart from nudity, vulgarity and abusive language, the petition makes a case for residents of Mirzapur who feel people outside the city view them with suspicion after the show."
Such movies and web series, it adds, are a "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 of material depicting children in a sexually explicit act or conduct forthwith."
The petition asks the Supreme Court to direct the government to ban the show, set up a pre-screening committee before the content is released on OTT platforms and make certification mandatory for it, besides censoring it like theatrical films. An inquiry has also been sought to be initiated against Excel Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video as well as the actors of Mirzapur under Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, Cinematograph Act, and Information Technology Act, 2000.
The makers of Mirzapur have also been accused of tarnishing the image of Uttar Pradesh and portraying UP and Mirzapur in a bad light. Various reports suggest that Mirzapur producers Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Bhaumik Gondaliya were named in the complaint.
Supreme Court issues notice to makers and producers of web series 'Mirzapur' and Amazon Prime Video, on a petition complaining about the portrayal of Mirzapur district, UP in a bad light in the web series. SC seeks response from the OTT platform and series makers pic.twitter.com/NW074JKI9b— ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2021
Mirzapur was under scanner last year too
A day after its release last year, Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel, in a tweet on October 24, 2020, had written that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the city of Mirzapur has shown development and is a centre of harmony', but the show tarnishes that image.
She wrote, "Maanneeya Pradhan Mantri Ji even mukhyamantri Ji ke naitritv mein Mirzapur vikasit hai. Yeh samarsta ka kendra hai. Mirzapur naamak web series ke zariye ise hinsak ilaaka bataakar badnaam kiya Jaa Raha hai. Is series ke maadhyam se jaateey vaimanasy bhi failaaya Jaa Raha hai. (The city of Mirzapur is developed under the leadership of respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath. The city is a centre of harmony. In the web-series named Mirzapur, the city is shown to be a violent one and is being defamed. Ethnic discord is also being spread through this series) (sic)."
She further added, "Mirzapur jile ki Sansad hone ke naate meri maang hai ki iski jaanch Honi chahie aur iske viruddh kaarwahi Honi chahie (Being the MP of Mirzapur, I demand that the issue must be looked into and an action must be taken against the same)."
Check out the tweet below:
Mirzapur is gearing up for seaosn 3
Mirzapur is one of the best known Indian series streaming on Amazon Prime Video. After the first two seasons' success, the streaming platform has cleared the show for its season 3.
Mirzapur features Pankaj Tripathi in the role of the leading gangster while he's challenged by Guddu Bhaiya, played by Ali Fazal. Divyenndu Sharma is seen in the role of Munna Bhaiya while Rasika Dugal is seen as Beena Tripathi. Shweta Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Rajesh Tailang play important roles.
Tandav makers agree to changes, thank I&B 'guidance.
Meanwhile, following a second meeting with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday, the makers of Tandav said they had decided to drop certain scenes from the Amazon Prime web series. In a statement announcing the same, the makers thanked the ministry for its "guidance" on the issue.
The makers of the political drama, along with Amazon Prime representatives, had been called for the second video-conference meeting by the I&B Ministry after they were asked to explain their stand on Monday, on the number of complaints the ministry said it had received.
Director Ali Abbas Zafar took to social media and shared that they would make changes to the objectionable scenes.