On September 5, the apex court reserved the judgement after a marathon hearing that went on for 16 days.
The Supreme Court on Monday transferred to the Delhi Police all criminal complaints registered against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai over her depiction of Goddess Kali smoking in a poster of her documentary film.
Transferring FIRs registered in different States to Delhi Police, a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala allowed Manimekalai to approach the Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIRs registered against her.
“We order and direct that all the FIRs shall be transferred to the IFSO unit special cell, Delhi. The ad-interim protection, which was granted protecting petitioner from coercive steps, shall continue to operate in relation to present or future FIRs. The Petitioner is at liberty to move the Delhi High Court to file a Section 482 plea,” the bench said in its order.
On January 20, the top court by an interim order had protected Leena Manimekalai from any coercive steps in connection with six FIRs registered against her in different States, or any other FIR that may be registered in future for depicting Goddess Kaali smoking in a poster of her documentary film.
Protecting her from any coercive action, the top court had noted that at this stage, the lodging of FIRs in multiple States may cause serious prejudice to the filmmaker.
Manimekalai has approached the top court seeking protection and quashing of the FIRs registered against her in several States relating to the smoking Goddess Kali poster.
Manimekalai is a Tamil poet and a known literary figure whose works are recognised and awarded. Her lawyer Kamini Jaiswal in the earlier hearing had told the court that filmmaker’s attempt as a creative filmmaker was not to hurt the religious sentiment of anyone but to project the image of a radically inclusive Goddess.
The filmmaker, who has multiple FIRs against her, said she has received many calls threatening her with death, beheading, rape and murder after she tweeted the poster of her film, Goddess Kali.
She had said that she also received calls for violence against her family members and crew members.
The FIRs have been registered against her in the district’s courts of Hazratganj in Lucknow, Ratlam, Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Delhi.