The trial court here on Tuesday rejected a bail release filed by Mumbai filmmaker Avinash Das on charges of sharing photos on social media to tarnish Union Interior Minister Amita Shah and insult the national flag. Another judge, DD Thakkar, rejected Das’s request for bail in connection with the FIR, which was filed against him in May by the city’s cybercrime branch.
Das reportedly shared the image on Instagram on March 17 and another on Twitter on May 8. A photo shared on Twitter allegedly captured Union Minister Shah with arrested IAS officer Puja Singhal.
The crime branch claimed that this was done with the intention of creating misunderstandings among the people and tarnishing Shah’s image. The first information report was registered against Das under IPC Section 469 (counterfeit) and also under the Prevention of Insult to National Honor Act and the Information Technology Act.
The court rejected Das’s request, noting that Shah’s photograph seemed to be shared with the intention of tarnishing him and tarnishing his image, and clearly indicated a “mens rea”. Sharing a photo of a woman with a tricolor showed “mental perversion,” he said. As a filmmaker, the complainant’s primary duty was to preserve the country’s dignity and respect the national flag and the Union Minister of the Interior, the court added.
Das’s lawyer claimed that Shah’s photograph of Singhal was taken from a web link and distributed by others, not his client. As for the photograph of the woman in the tricolor, he claimed that it was not obscene, as was claimed.
According to section 469 of the IPC, no case of counterfeiting was filed, the lawyer argued. The prosecutor stated against the objection that three notices had so far been issued to the accused and that the notice had also been delivered to his wife, but he did not cooperate in the investigation. Mumbai Supreme Court recently rejected Das’s bail application.
Singhal, Jharkhand’s mining secretary, was recently arrested by the law enforcement directorate in a money laundering case. In 2017, Das directed “Anaarkali Of Aarah” starring Swara Bhaskar, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi.