The Bombay High Court has refrained the Mumbai police from arresting members of the comedy troupe All India Bakchod (AIB), however, it directed the police to carry on its investigation and determine whether the AIB Knockout show performed could be considered “obscene”, reports the Indian Express.
Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, arguing for the members of AIB, sought to quash the first information report (FIR) and public interest litigation (PIL) against them. Jethmalani argued that there should be a distinction between obscenity and vulgarity and said what the comedy group did was vulgar. “Law prevents the use of foul words only when they are obscene,” contended Jethmalani, stressing that obscenity arouses “sexual lust” and the words used and jokes cracked were merely vulgar.
Jethmalani relied on a couple of judgments of the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court, which, according to him, have made a distinction between the two terms. AIB have sought dismissal of the PIL and said that it affects their livelihood directly and violates their fundamental rights.
The AIB Knockout, which is inspired by Comedy Central’s Roast, where chosen celebrities are lampooned and subjected to insult humour from a panel of comedians and their peers for the amusement of a wider audience. The video which featured actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor went viral on YouTube and witnessed more than eight million views before it was taken down by the group..
All India Bakchod did issue a statement after they pulled down the video and said that they were co-operating with the authorities on the same.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government would act against organisers of the show if it had violated any law. Ranjit Patil, the state minister for home, said websites selling the AIB Roast tickets would also come under the scanner, as indicated by this Hindustan Times report.