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No coercive steps against Raveena Tandon, Farah Khan till March 25: HC

Raveena Tandon and Farah Khan along with comedienne Bharti Singh were booked by Amritsar police in December last year.

IANS Reported by: IANS
New Delhi Updated on: January 24, 2020 10:43 IST
Farah Khan, Raveena Tandon

Farah Khan and Raveena Tandon

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed authorities to not take any "coercive steps" until March 25 against actor Raveena Tandon and filmmaker Farah Khan in connection with a plea against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a TV show.

The two celebrities, along with comedienne Bharti Singh, were booked by Amritsar police in December on the basis of a complaint by Sonu Jafar, president of the Christian Front of Ajnala Block. Tandon and Khan have petitioned the court, seeking quashing of the FIR and stay on the probe, contending that no offence was made out under IPC section 295A that they have been charged with.

On Thursday, Justice Ashok Kumar Verma issued a notice to Punjab government and other respondents for March 25 and said, "Till then, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioners." Arguing the case for Tandon and Khan, advocate Abhinav Sood said, "None of the ingredients pertaining to offence under IPC Section 295-A are made out".

The FIR was "illegal, ex-facie bad in law, and by virtue thereof the same be quashed and set aside," he said, adding that the allegation against the celebrities was "vague and general in nature".

Their statements, during the TV show, "cannot be perceived to be disrespectful or hurtful to the sentiments of the Christian brothers or do not remotely qualify to constitute an offence under Section 295-A IPC," the counsel argued. He said the police acted against the celebrities due to "public pressure" and the case was registered with “ulterior motives” to put “undue pressure and cause harassment” to his clients.

All the three celebrities were summoned by Amritsar police for questioning earlier this month. Soon after a controversy erupted in December, Khan and Tandon apologised and said all three of them never intended to offend anyone

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