After Raveena Tandon, Farah Khan, Punjab HC directs police to not take 'coercive actions' against Bharti Singh
The Punjab High Court has issued directions to not initiate any coercive actions against comedienne Bharti Singh, days after Raveena Tandon and Farah Khan were granted relief in the case, reports Indo-Asian News Service.
The trio were booked in December 2019 for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Christians. They later apologised for the same.
Justice Sudip Ahluwalia, who was hearing Bharti Singh's case, said her plea would come up further 25 March. He will also be hearing Raveena and Farah's petition to quash the FIRs against them.
According to Bharti Singh’s lawyer, the comedian and actress Raveena Tandon were asked to spell a word and disclose its meaning on the show. 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, he had told the court. The lawyer also added Bharti’s words were misconstrued and that she had no intention of hurting religious sentiments.
The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Sonu Jafar, president of Christian Front of Ajnala Block, along with video footage of the show aired on Christmas eve.
The trio has been booked under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which pertains to "malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs."
It was argued before the court that the FIR was based on hearsay, while to establish offence under Section 295-A, it needs to be done deliberately with the intention to hurt religious sentiments of any class.
Jafar, alleged, as per the report, that the trio was seen trivialising the word 'hallelujah' in a video, which has hurt the sentiments of Christians.
"Hallelujah" is a Hebrew word uttered in worship or as an expression of rejoicing. It means, "God be praised."
Amid the uproar, Farah and Raveena met Indian Cardinal of Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Oswald Gracias to tender an apology. Farah earlier took to Twitter to apologise on behalf of the entire team of Flipkart Video Original's quiz show Backbenchers, on which she serves as the host. The said episode has also been taken off by Flipkart Video.
Bharti, who was out of the country then, also apologised to the community for "hurting their sentiments."\
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2020 09:12:01 IST