Allahabad HC Grants Jitendra Tyagi @Waseem Rizvi Relief in 'Ram Ki Janmabhoomi' Film Case

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Allegedly, certain imputations and derogatory remarks were made against revered personalities of the Sunni Sect

Former Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman, Waseem Rizvi, now known as Jitendra Tyagi, got relief from the Allahabad High Court last week in a case related to his film "Ram Ki Janmabhoomi".

Allegedly, the film contained derogatory remarks against the Sunni Muslim community's revered personalities. Over these allegations, an FIR was lodged in 2019 by one Abdul Fahid Farooqui under Sections 153-A and 504 of the IPC against Tyagi, who wrote, produced, and starred in the film.

Farooqui, who claimed himself to be the Chairman of the Sahaba Action Committee, had alleged that the screening of the film could lead to communal tension in the city of Lucknow. He had also claimed that proper certification of the film was not done by the Central Board of Film Certification, Mumbai.

After holding an in-depth probe into the matter, police submitted the charge sheet/report under section 173(2) CrPC in January 2023.

However, in his challenge to the entire legal proceedings and summoning order issued against him by the Magistrate Court, Tyagi contended that the Magistrate in a most mechanical fashion, had taken cognizance of the offence under section 153-A and 504 IPC without assigning any good reason for the same.

Tyagi's counsel also apprised the court of a writ petition filed by Farooqui concerning the same matter. A division bench of the high court had dismissed that petition with the observation that the petition was filed to gain cheap popularity among the masses.

He also submitted that on March 14, 2023, the Central Board of Film Certification granted 'A/UA' certificate to the film. He contended that despite this certification by the CBFC, the Government of Uttar Pradesh initiated the prosecution case in December 2022, invoking section 196 of the CrPC.

He referred to the ruling of the Top Court in Salman Khan Vs. State of Gujarat case (2018), asserting that once CBFC grants certification, the producer is entitled to screen the film, and no legal issues remain for the court to adjudicate.

Taking note of the submissions made and upon perusal of the case mentioned above, the bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi held that no case was made out against Tyagi.

"But the Court is also conscious of the fact that there is scheme provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure and this Court consciously is not inclined to break that scheme,' the bench, however, noted. 

Therefore, it ordered Tyagi to appear before the court concerned armed with an application under section 88 of the CrPC and directed the concerned court that it may, after taking personal bond, release Tyagi with or without surety.

"...and thereafter, the applicant shall move detailed discharge application under the appropriate sections of Cr.P.C. raising all the legal as well as factual points for the determination of the same by the court concerned and it is mandatory and obligatory on the part of the court concerned to decide the same within a period of six weeks from its institution by giving a well-reasoned order," court ordered while disposing of Tyagi's plea. 

Case Title: Syed Waseem Rizvi v. State of UP