Upon ordering the police to file an FIR against the creators and performers of the online series “College Romance,” the Delhi High Court stated that “in Indian society, swear words are not pronounced in…front of ladies or children.”

The Delhi High Court ordered authorities to file a First Information Report (FIR) against the creators and stars of the online series College Romance for using “profane and filthy” language. The series centers on a group of young people and their friendships, relationships, and sexual lives. The language in the concert was so profane that it “could not have been heard without upsetting the individuals around,” according to Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who noted this in her ruling on March 6. The decision, which harshly criticizes the language used in the show, is based on paternalism and arbitrary moral standards.

College Romance is now being streamed via the over-the-top (OTT) service SonyLIV after being first published to The Timeliners YouTube channel in 2018. The complaint, among other things, singled out certain passages from the fifth episode of the first season of College Romance, titled “Happily F***ed Up.” In the episode, Naira (Apoorva Arora), one of the characters, objects to her lover Bagga (Gagan Arora) uttering some expletives. Yet by the episode’s conclusion, she finds herself becoming angry and using the same profanities. The High Court noted that Bagga refers to “a sexually explicit conduct in spoken language” in the passages that are in question and that he afterward praises Naira for using the same language with others.

An additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) had earlier in September 2019 instructed the Delhi police to file a formal complaint (FIR) against the show’s creators and actors under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 67 and 67A (punishment for publishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit act) of the Information Technology Act based on the complaint (IT Act). The Magistrate’s order was changed by an Additional Sessions Judge in November 2020, who removed the IPC clauses and instructed the police to register a case exclusively in accordance with Section 67A of the IT Act.

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