Court dismisses application seeking to stop airing of webseries ‘Hasmukh’


New Delhi, April 28: A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed an application seeking ex-parte injunction against Netflix from showing web series “Hasmukh”, saying any “artistic expression in any artistic work has to be seen in the context of the work itself”. 

Additional District and Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said there was no reason to restrain Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP from airing the webseries, PTI reported.

The application filed through lawyer Abhay Gupta claimed that the show contained derogatory remarks against advocates.

The court, in its order, said that the remarks were general in nature and not made against Gupta in particular. “In a free and democratic society, there is freedom of speech and expression. If a particular comedy web series ‘Hasmukh’ makes any remarks, it has to be read and seen in the context of artistic expression, comedy or satire and not taken literally to contend that lawyers are being abused,” it said.

It added that law is a noble profession and so are the lawyers but Gupta cannot contend that he is defamed as he is a lawyer and certain expression has been used in a web series against the lawyers in general.

“Any artistic expression in any artistic work has to be seen in the context of the work itself. Thus, there is no reason for allowing the prayer of the plaintiff (Gupta) directing the defendant (Netflix) to stop showing the said web series “Hasmukh”. Since there is no prima facie case or balance of convenience in favour of the plaintiff, hence, the present application is dismissed,” the court said.

Gupta had sought ex-parte interim injunction against the online content streaming platform from airing the show “Hasmukh”. He claimed that the show, especially Episode 4, contained certain remarks which defamed lawyers.

In the web series, the lawyers are stated to be “thieves, scoundrels, goons and have been addressed as rapist”, the application alleged. The advocate further claimed that he was hurt by the “highly defamatory” remarks and has also sent a notice to Netflix India to stop airing the web series.

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