Concept of 'Roast' not new, did not intend to insult women, AIB tell Bombay HC

Even as the Bombay High Court on Tuesday restrained the police from arresting members of All India Bakchod (AIB) in connection with their controversial roast, the comedy group has told the court in a petition that this concept was not a new one and had existed since 1949, the first one being held in New York.

FP Staff February 18, 2015 21:18:14 IST
Concept of 'Roast' not new, did not intend to insult women, AIB tell Bombay HC

Even as the Bombay High Court on Tuesday restrained the police from arresting members of All India Bakchod (AIB) in connection with their controversial roast, the comedy group has told the court in a petition that this concept was not a new one and had existed since 1949, the first one being held in New York.

This Indian Express report quoted the petition as saying, "AIB did not intend to insult the modesty of any woman. Further, none of the women on whom the jokes were made raised any grievance about the same. In light of the aforesaid, the ingredients of Section 509 (insult to modesty of women) of the Indian Penal Code are also not attracted."

Concept of Roast not new did not intend to insult women AIB tell Bombay HC

A screengrab from the AIB roast video.

This comes in the backdrop of an FIR lodged against the 14 people including actors Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Karan Johar on 13 February over their participation in the AIB roast at the direction of a Mumbai court. The FIR also included members of the AIB including  Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhatt, Gursimran Khamba, and Ashish Shakya.

According to a press release sent by lawyer Abha Singh, who had filed the complaint on behalf of social activist Santosh Daundkar, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Girgaon court, ordered the police to file an FIR based on Daundkar's complaint. According to Abha Singh's press statement, the show was 'pre-scripted' and vulgar, obscene and pornographic.

However according to Indian Express, AIB defended the accusations against them quoting the Merriam-Webster dictionary which defines a roast as "to honor (a person) at a roast" or "to subject to severe criticism or ridicule"

While the basis of the FIR against AIB is the amount of expletives used in the show, according to The Indian Express the petition says, "This style of comedy falls under the genre of adult comedy, wherein the performer (or performers) draws laughter from jokes cracked either at the expense of the performer, also known as self-deprecatory humour. It can also be at the expense of the audience. In addition, the jokes can be cracked at the expense of someone who is subject to the roast."

A popular comedy group, AIB had held a roast (a comedy event where a celebrity is mocked) of Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in a stadium in December 2014 and later uploaded the video on YouTube. After a police complaint in Pune, the group took down the YouTube video, which had over 8 million hits.

AIB also defended their show with their petition pointing to the fact that "it was a ticketed one and nobody in the audience who attended the concert has registered any complaint".

The complaint against AIB invoked several sections of the India Penal Code, the Information Technology Act, Bombay Police Act, Environment Protection Act and Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practice Act in the case.

With agency inputs

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