SC notice to Centre, others on plea against Mirzapur

The petitioner, who is a Mirzapur resident, said he has filed the plea to protect the "historical and cultural value" of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court Thursday sought responses from the Centre, Amazon Prime Video and Excel Entertainment Pvt Ltd on a plea, which has alleged that web series Mirzapur has “completely tarnished” the historical and cultural image of the place by showing it as a “city of goons”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notices on the plea, which alleged that showing “shameless things” in the name of Mirzapur is an insult to the rich culture of the city.

The petitioner, Mirzapur-resident Sujeet Kumar Singh, said he has filed the plea to protect the “historical and cultural value” of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.

“Mirzapur had rich cultural value but in 2018, Excel Entertainment has launched a web series named Mirzapur of nine episodes in which they have shown Mirzapur a city of goons and adulteress,” the plea said, adding, “By showing such ridicules and shameless things on the name of a city/district is the insult of approx 30 lakh population and rich culture of Mirzapur.”

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the counsel appearing for the petitioner told the bench that the plea has become infructuous as the web series has already been telecast.

The bench, however, said it was issuing notices on the plea. The second season of Mirzapur was released last year.

“Such movies and web series are 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 containing sexually explicit act or conduct and also publishing or transmitting material depicting children in sexually explicit act or conduct forthwith,” it said, claiming that the web series is full of “nudity, vulgarity and abusive language”.

It has sought a direction to the Centre to set up a pre-screening committee for the series, films or other programs that are directly released on online platforms. It said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should be directed to make certification mandatory from a government authority before releasing any series, films or other programme on online platforms.

The plea said that government should be directed to set up a rule and regulation for movies, web series and other programs on online platforms and all these must be censored before their release in theatres.

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