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Allahabad High Court dismisses PILs against Amazon, ALT Balaji shows

The Allahabad High Court on September 29 dismissed two Public Interest Litigation suits (PILs) against the ALT Balaji show XXX: Uncensored and the Amazon Prime Video show Paatal Lok, respectively. LiveLaw first reported on the judgements, delivered by a two-judge bench of justices Siddhartha Varma and Govind Mathur. The court did not cite freedom of expression in its reasoning, and instead said in one of the orders that the petitioners had to approach the "competent authority of the Government of India", presumably the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. The same reasoning, in slightly differing language, was outlined in both orders. The suit against ALT Balaji's show was brought due to accusations that one episode had a scene disrespecting the army, where a soldier's wife makes a man she is having an affair with wear a military uniform. That scene has already been removed from the show on both ALT Balaji and ZEE5. Paatal Lok, on the other hand, was sued, according to the order, for being "offending to the principles of 'Sanatan Dharm'". "It is a settled principle of law that the person demanding writ in the nature of mandamus [an order to a public authority to perform a statutory duty] is first required to make a demand from the Authority competent," the court said in its judgement on the ALT Balaji case. "A deviation from such settled principle can be made only in extraordinary circumstances and no such circumstance has been pointed out by the petitioner in this…

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