Tandav controversy: OTT screening needed as some have pornographic content, says Supreme Court

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place before it the recent guidelines of the government to regulate social media platforms on Friday

FP Staff March 04, 2021 14:37:10 IST
Tandav controversy: OTT screening needed as some have pornographic content, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that few over-the-top (OTT) platforms show some kind of pornographic content at times, and there should be a mechanism to screen such programmes.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place before it the recent guidelines of the government to regulate social media platforms on Friday. "Now watching movies on the internet and OTT has become common. We are of the view there must be some screening," said Justice Bhushan.

“A balance has to be struck as some OTT platforms are also showing pornographic materials on their platforms,” the bench, also comprising Justice RS Reddy, said.

The court was hearing a plea by India head of Amazon Prime Video Aparna Purohit, who has challenged the Allahabad High Court rejecting her anticipatory bail in connection with FIRs lodged against her over web series Tandav. The matter will be taken up again on Friday.

 

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, termed the case against her as “shocking” saying this woman is an employee of Amazon and she is neither a producer nor an actor but still she has been made an accused in around 10 cases relating to the web series across the country.

The Allahabad High High Court had rejected Purohit’s bail plea on 25 February, saying that the use of the word “Tandav” could offend a majority of the people in the country as it was associated with the Hindu deity Shiva.

The Amazon Prime executive has been booked under multiple charges, including Sections 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 295 (Defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion), 505(1)(b) (Public mischief), 505(2) (Statements promoting hatred between classes) of the Indian Penal Code, and those under the Information Technology Act.

Tandav, a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming recently.

(Also read on Firstpost - Over-censorship or welcome classification? What 'Intermediary Rules 2021' will mean for the future of OTT content)

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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