Some OTT platforms show pornographic content, says Supreme Court; bats for striking balance

A balance has to be struck as some OTT platforms are also showing pornographic materials on their platforms, the Supreme Court bench said

March 04, 2021 / 02:20 PM IST
Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on March 4 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 March 5, when it would hear the plea of Amazon Prime Video's India head Aparna Purohit challenging the Allahabad High Court order 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, also comprising Justice RS Reddy, said.

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

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

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Amazon Prime Video had issued an apology on March 2. "Amazon Prime Video again deeply regrets that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable in the recently launched fictional series Tandav," the company said in a statement.

New rules by the government have set a "classification rating" to describe the content and advise discretion for viewers of films and other forms of entertainment, including web-based or OTT, serials that are shown on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+Hotstar.

The 'adult category' will be suitable only for 18 years and above, said the new Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, a copy of which Moneycontrol reviewed.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have faced a barrage of criticism and complaints in India for allegedly showing "obscene content".

(With inputs from PTI)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 4, 2021 02:20 pm

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