Jharkhand HC Quashes FIR Against Accused for Posting ‘Mirchi lagi’ Parody Video of Ex-CM Raghubar Das

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: July 28, 2022 at 20:37 IST

The Jharkhand High Court has quashed the criminal case against Sarvaprit Singh, who was arrested in 2018 for posting a 32-second video clip that featured the well-known Hindi film songTujhko mirchi lagi to main kya karoon,” a picture of Mentos, the mouth freshener advertisement, and a brief video of then-Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Raghubar Das, making a statement in the Jharkhand Assembly.

In a judgement given by Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi observed that the said video mixed a Mentos ad with a well-known Hindi movie tune.

The court said “Looking into the averment made in the complaint, so far as penal Sections 419, 420, 468, 500, 505 of the Indian Penal Code are concerned, the ingredients of these sections are not made out against the petitioner,”.

The High Court further said that the lower court’s cognizance was not in accordance to law.

According to the court, reading the entire complaint does not establish any of the ingredients necessary for the Section 419 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with punishment for cheating by personation.

The court stated, likewise, a case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code has not been made out. Additionally, the court trashed the charges brought against him under the Trade Marks Act and the Copyrights Act.

Notably, the Mentos mints maker Perfetti Van Melle India Limited, whose advertisement campaign served as the inspiration for Sarvaprit Singh’s parody video, filed a complaint and Sarvaprit Singh was arrested by Ranchi police on April 3, 2018.

The charges against Singh were filed under the Indian Penal Code, the Copyright Act, the Trade Marks Act, and the Information Technology Act. They included cheating, impersonation, fraud, causing public nuisance, and defamation.

However, Singh’s attorney Pandey Neeraj Rai argued that the cognizance had been taken without first examining the ingredients are made out against the petitioner or not. Furthermore, he said that the cognizance has been taken against the petitioner despite in the absence of any legal evidence.

Additionally, he argued that the video was uploaded on April 1st, 2018, in a light hearted manner. Nothing existed to harm the reputation of any powerful people.

Further, he added that there was no violation of Section 63 of the Copyright Act, Sections 103 and 105 of the Trademark Act, Sections 66(C) and 66(D) of the Information Technology Act against the petitioner because the aforementioned video was not meant for any commercial purposes.

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