Delhi High Court refuses to grant interim stay on airing of Web Series “Hasmukh” on Netflix

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The Court entertained a complaint requesting a decree of permanent injunction against the creator of ‘Hasmukh’. Moreover, the complainant requested to stop further streaming of the web-series “Hasmukh”, particularly Season 1 episode 4.

Issues before the Court

The episode includes negative statements about the whole legal fraternity. That the Remarks in it are neither humorous or a joke. Additionally, they are not even close to any satire, or within the boundaries of a critique.

The defendants took a stand that the web series is a work of fiction. Subsequently, the Characters in the show making the plot and comments are making so in the light of a “figment of imagination” and satire. Consequently not to take the same as a matter of fact.

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The Class of persons cannot include Lawyers in defamation nor can a general reference to lawyers to defame the plaintiff. In the event of a defamatory imputation against a “collection of persons”, they shall be a definite body. Such a definite body, that the imputation in question may apply to the individual members or components thereof.

Court’s Decision

The Court refused to issue the temporary injunction. It noted that the web-series is a dark humorous comedy, seeking to reveal the ills of various professions.

“It is a known fact that a stand-up comedian to highlight a particular point exaggerates the same to an extent that it becomes a satire and a comedy. Satire is a work of art. It is a literary work that ridicules its subject through the use of techniques like an exaggeration. It is a witty, ironic and often exaggerated portrayal of a subject. If an ad interim injunction is granted, it would amount to interference in the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by our Constitution to the defendants. The very essence of democracy is that a creative artist is given the liberty to project the picture of the society in a manner he perceives…”

the court said

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It was noted that the plaintiff was unable to show that the contested remark applies to the plaintiff. They also failed to show if it applies to a particular group of lawyers from the entire class to which the plaintiff belongs.


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