The Delhi High Court in the case Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited v. State of NCT of Delhi and Anr observed and has stayed the proceedings against the Culver Max Entertainment, a production house which owns and manages Sony SAB TV channel, in an FIR for allegedly using of ‘casteist and derogatory’ remark on Dhobi community in one of the episodes of ‘Pushpa Impossible’ show.
The bench headed by Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar in the case observed and has stayed the proceedings initiated against the production house till January 15, 2024, when the two other connected matters filed by co-accused are coming up for hearing.
In the present case, the FIR was registered under section 3(1)(u) of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the SC and ST Act on the directions of the court in March after a complaint was filed against use of a remark ‘Do Kodi ka Dhobi’ in the show.
The court in the case observed and has issued the notice on the plea moved by Culver Max’s wherein it challenged the order of Trial Court summoning the production house and 6 other accused persons, being the director, producer, writers and actor of the show for December 02.
The bench headed by Justice Bhatnagar stated that notice is issued and it has been submitted by the senior counsel appearing for the petitioner that two connected matters in the same FIR are coming up for hearing on January 15. Till then, the said proceedings against the present petitioner are stayed. The counsel, Senior Advocate N Hariharan appearing for Culver Max submitted before the court that no offence was made out in the matter. Further, he submitted that Section 3(1)(u) of SC & ST Act cannot be made out against a company which is an artificial person. It was also contended before the court that under the provision in question, a juristic person cannot be assigned caste, creed, or a character.
The court in the case observed and has directed the counsel appearing for Delhi Police to file a status report and listed the case for hearing next on January 15, 2024.
Therefore, the production house had challenged the summoning order passed by city’s Patiala House Courts on October 19. The Trial Court in the case was of the view that there was sufficient material on record to proceed further in the matter and it took the cognizance of the offence punishable under Section 3(1)(u) of SC and ST Act. Accordingly, the court listed the matter for further consideration on January 15, 2024.