Supreme Court fumes over show of some pornographic content on OTT platforms The Apex Court felt the need for some kind of mechanism to regulate pornographic contests shown on OTT platforms while directing the Solicitor General to place before it the recent government guidelines to regulate social media The Supreme Court has said that there should be a mechanism to regulate pornographic...
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Supreme Court fumes over show of some pornographic content on OTT platforms
The Apex Court felt the need for some kind of mechanism to regulate pornographic contests shown on OTT platforms while directing the Solicitor General to place before it the recent government guidelines to regulate social media
The Supreme Court has said that there should be a mechanism to regulate pornographic content that few over-the-top (OTT) platforms some times show.
An Apex Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R.S. Reddy on 4 March 2021 asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place before it the recent guidelines announced by the government to regulate social media platforms when it would hear the bail plea the of Aparna Purohit, India head of Amazon Prime Video on 5 March 2021. Purohit has challenged the Allahabad High Court rejecting her anticipatory bail in connection with FIRs lodged against her over web series Tandav.
A balance has to be struck as some OTT platforms are also showing pornographic materials on their platforms, the bench observed.
Appearing for Purohit, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi informed the Top Court that the case against her was shocking as this woman is an employee of Amazon and 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.
A nine-episode political thriller Tandav, starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming on Amazon Prime Video recently.
Purohit has been accused of an inappropriate depiction of Uttar Pradesh Police, Hindu deities and an adverse portrayal of a character playing the prime minister in the web series.
The Apex Court had earlier on 27 January 2021 declined to grant interim protection from any coercive action to Ali Abbas Zafar, Director of the controversial web series, Purohit, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show's writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.
The SC had then said that they may seek bail from courts concerned in the FIRs lodged in connection with the web series.
Purohit moved to the Apex Court after the Allahabad High Court (HC) declined her anticipatory bail on 25 February 2021.
The HC had said that Purohit had not been vigilant and had acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting streaming of a web show which was against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty could not be protected by the grant of the anticipatory bail to her in the exercise of discretionary powers of the court.
While rejecting the plea, the HC had observed that the applicant (Aparna Purohit) was earlier granted interim protection from arrest by another bench in a similar case but she was not cooperating with the investigation.
"Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and are still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu gods and goddesses," the HC had observed, adding that there was a growing tendency on the part of the Hindi film industry which, if not curbed in time, may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order.
An FIR was lodged on the complaint of one Balbir Azad of Raunija village under Rabupura Police Station of Greater Noida on 19 January 2021 in which Azad alleged that the show depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a poor light. The complaint further alleged that the web series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses.
Several other FIRs have also been lodged in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Delhi against Tandav.