The Supreme Court has refused to grant protection to actor Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Amazon Prime Video (India) & makers of the web series Tandav from arrest in several FIRs against them and asked them to approach High Court for anticipatory bail or quashing of FIRs. Criminal cases have been lodged against them in multiple states for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
Actress Gauahar Khan, who is part of the ensemble cast of the political drama, has reacted to the top court's refusal to grant protection from arrest. When Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub’s lawyer argued that he was just an actor under contract and that the views expressed by his character could not be attributed to him, Justice MR Shah said, "You accepted the contract after reading the script. You cannot hurt religious sentiments."
Responding to this comment, a Twitter user remarked, "Excellent. Next people playing murderers on screen might be tried for the same. After all, they read the script..." Gauahar retweeted the post along with emojis.
Ayyub's lawyer Siddharth Agarwal argued that it was a fictional character and there should not be multifarious investigation on the same issue. The bench said it is not inclined to entertain this aspect in an Article 32 petition. The bench also remarked during the hearing that freedom of speech is not absolute.