SC quashes FIRs against ‘wink’ Priya

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the wink of 18-year-old actor Priya Prakash Varrier in a Malayalam movie song as an expression of her right to creative freedom and quashed FIRs that accused her of committing a “blasphemous act.” A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said the wink did not express any calculated tendency to insult or upset morality or public order. The court barred the police across the country from registering FIRs on the basis of complaints about the wink. Chief Justice Misra said audiences should learn to watch movies with a sense of maturity, honesty and intellectual tolerance. “It should not be like you watch a movie and then come out and file a complaint about it just to gain some mileage,” he orally observed. She had moved the court against threats to her life and her family from “fringe groups” that believed she insulted Islam. Ms. Varrier, a graduate student from Thrissur district of Kerala, said fatwas were issued against her. She drew the court’s attention to its previous orders favouring the release of the Bollywood film Padmaavat and pressed her case for creative freedom. “When creativity dies, the values of civilisation corrode,” Chief Justice Misra had written in the Padmaavat order.

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