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‘Porn content on OTT platforms’

The SC bench said there should be prior screening of content on web platforms while hearing a plea filed by Amazon Prime India’s head regarding the FIRs against her over web series Tandav

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Thursday objected to streaming of films on web platforms without any prior screening of the content and also cited some films having pornographic content.

The observation by the top court came during the hearing of a plea by Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit against an Allahabad High Court order, which declined to entertain her anticipatory bail in connection with the FIRs lodged against her over the web series Tandav.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “There should be some screening (of content on web platforms). There is pornography in some films.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said some programmes feature filthy abuse.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, contended this was “a matter of free speech” and cited that his client is not the producer of the show, instead an employee of the company which is streaming the web series Tandav.

The top court indicated that there should be a censor board-like body which screens the films. It scheduled the matter for further hearing on Friday.

In January, the top court refused to grant interim protection to the Tandav crew from any coercive action and had asked them to move the concerned courts to seek bail in the matter.

Purohit has been accused of inappropriate depiction of Hindu deities, UP Police personnel and for adverse portrayal of a character in the role of prime minister in the web series.

On 25 February, Allahabad High Court declined to grant her anticipatory bail in the matter.