‘Can’t hold actors liable for dialogues’ says Delhi HC on complaints against Sacred Games

The Delhi High Court made some key observations while hearing the PIL filed against Netflix’s new original show ‘Sacred Games’ by a man, who identified him as a Congress leader and had alleged that the show was derogatory to the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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Hearing the plea on Monday, the Delhi High Court first asked whether a PIL could be entertained on an issue of this nature and added that actors can’t be held liable for dialogues.

After asking the petitioner why the actors had been made a party to the case, the court said: ‘Can we stop a viewpoint from being aired? Should we stall such a viewpoint from being aired? Shouldn’t the viewer make up his own point?’

At this point, Netflix’s counsels told the court that all eight of the episodes have already aired and that nothing new would be aired. (It is unknown at this point if this statement has anything to do with a potential second season)

The judge then asked: ‘It’s already on air. What do we stop?’ The petitioner then put forth his complaint: ‘There are two scenes where the English translation has a different derogatory word. They have modified some but need to take out these scenes. It’s a scene against a former PM for now. What happens next? Would these be the standards that are aired?’

The High Court then asked: ‘Can the court hear an issue of defamation in a PIL? This will have a larger implication because there can be sometimes issues where we have seen the effect of social media and what consequences it has.’

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The court then listed the matter for hearing on Thursday. The complainant had earlier identified himself as Tariq and claimed to be a member and supporter of the Congress party. Tariq’s was one of the three Congress complaints against Sacred Games, all of them, over the depiction of Rajiv Gandhi.

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