Goddess Kali Poster Row: SC Says Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai Won’t Face Coercive Action


In response to the filmmakers plea, a bench composed of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha sent notices to the governments of the Centre, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. A lookout notice has been issued against her, the top court noted.

“No coercive action should be taken against the petitioner in respect of the FIRs lodged gainst her. At this stage, it may be noted that lodging of FIRs in multiple case may be of serious prejudice. We are inclined to issue notice so that all FIRs can be consolidated in one place in accordance with law,” the bench said.

Leena Manimekalai’s attorney Kamini Jaiswal claimed that there is no intent to offend religious sensibilities on behalf of the director.

Manimekalai contended that the FIRs against her that had been lodged in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand over the poster—which depicts Manimekalai as the goddess Kali while smoking a cigarette and hoisting a pride flag—should be merged and quashed.

An ex-parte stay of any criminal proceedings arising from these FIRs has also been requested by the filmmaker.

An earlier injunction request against the upcoming film ‘Kaali’ helmed by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai claimed that the film’s posters and promotional videos depicted a Hindu goddess in an inappropriate manner.

The plea, filed by Raj Gaurav, also sought an interim injunction to restrain Manimekalai temporarily from depicting goddesses in the way they have been depicted in the poster and video.

Manimekalai has also asked for legal action against a user of social media who has threatened to rape and kill her for sharing the poster. The case will be heard by the court again on February 20.

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