Mumbai police presented a first briefing report against the group of comedians across India Bakchod for the publication of an image that was marriée by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, police said in a tweet Friday.
Police have invoked article 500 of the Indian Criminal Code which deals with criminal defamation and prescribes a two-year prison term for convicts, Hindustan Times reported.
The police are also included in article 67 of the Information Technology Act, regarding the dissemination of obscene material on the Internet and has a three year prison sentence for the first offense and five years for a second offense, according to The newspaper.
Although it is not clear who made the complaint, at first glance, the decision to invoke these articles seems arbitrary, lawyers said.
The controversy erupted on Twitter Thursday when a user named Reeteesh Maheshwari was scorned for a moriée photo Modi published by the comedy group on Twitter and Facebook.
The image is divided into two: on one side there was a photo of a man who looked like Narendra Modi standing on a railway platform, while the second image using a Snapchat filter to represent the Prime Minister with canine features. The image was titled “The dog filter is lyf”.
A Twitter user marked the Mumbai police in a publication with the capture of the image and urged them to act. Police responded quickly saying that the image was transmitted to his cyber ward.
After that, All India Bakchod has received tons of angry tweets critical of the users of images, which led the group to eliminate it. He did not give the group a break.
Twitter supporters accused Tanmay Bhat, a member of the comedy group, of hypocrisy. It was said that the group did not have the backbone to defend the Bharatiya Janata Party, although they were often dug in to the leaders of the Congress like Rahul Gandhi.
An angry Bhat responded by stating that it was his prerogative to put the content or remove it.
Lawyers say many questions arise from the FIR. First, who was the plaintiff? She has Mumbai police turning the tweets at random a complaint to reserve the comedy group. If this is the case, the section 500 he invokes is significant.
According to lawyer KM Vijayan, the police can not have any complaints against the private defamation parties if the perpetrators are not those who have been defamed by the content.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which regulates criminal justice in India, where public authorities as a prime minister or head of government are being defamatory acts, the prosecutor could be invited to file a case on his behalf.
However, individuals can not take the role of prosecutor. The courts are likely to take care of complaints “recorded on the basis of private claims at random,” Vijayan said.
The curious case in the All India Bakchod is one that depicts Modi with dog ears can be considered obscene because the law clearly states that obscenity is related to the material, “which is lascivious or appeals to considered of interest.”
The Mumbai police might have referred to the Oxford Dictionary, which defines “lascivious” as “sensation or disclosure of manifest or sexual interest” or “lustful” as “having or generating excessive interest sexual problems, especially the sexual activity of others . “