Court Denies Immediate Relief From Arrest To Film Director In Obscenity Case

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The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to grant any protection from arrest or coercive action to filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar in a case related to showing obscene scenes involving minors in a Marathi movie.

The Mumbai police had earlier this week lodged an FIR against Manjrekar and other makers of the film “Nay Varan Bhat Loncha Kon Nay Koncha”, under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Mr Manjrekar on Friday filed a petition in the High Court seeking for the case to be quashed and sought interim protection from arrest.

A division bench headed by Justice SS Shinde, however, refused to pass any order and adjourned hearing in the petition to February 28.

The recently released film allegedly contains sexually explicit content involving minors.

The filmmaker’s lawyer Shirish Gupte argued that the aim of the POCSO Act was to save and protect children, their body and mind.

“In the film nothing has really happened to the boys. It is just a creation of art. The scenes shown in the trailer were never part of the film. And the trailer was removed from YouTube,” Mr Gupte said.

He further told the court that the case did not require custodial interrogation.

Assistant public prosecutors Madhvi Mhatre and Sangeeta Shinde opposed the petition and said, “An FIR has been lodged at Mahim police station. There are serious allegations against the accused under the POCSO Act.” Hearing this, the bench said, “We cannot give a blanket protection.”

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