The Supreme Court has directed that a screening committee be introduced to look into the content on OTT platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the order while considering a petition lodged by Amazon Prime’s Commercial Head Aparna Purohit, challenging Allahabad High Court’s judgment, which denied pre-arrest bail to her in the criminal cases filed based on web series Tandav.
The court said, “We are in the view that some form of screening for OTT content should be introduced,” adding that some of these OTT platforms show pornography. The Apex court pointed out that sexual contents are present in many of these and observed that the content should be scrutinised before publishing it.
The top court also issued a notice seeking the opinion of the Centre in this matter. Moreover, the court directed Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to circulate widely the new Information Technology Rules 2021, issued by the Union IT Ministry last week. Meanwhile, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Aparna Purohit, argued that such FIRs should not be encouraged since many people file such pleas to get publicity.
On February 25, the Allahabad High Court had denied anticipatory bail to Commercial Head of Amazon Prime Video Aparna Purohit in connection with the ongoing probe against the web series Tandav.
Tandav, a political drama starring actors Saif Ali Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Dimple Kapadia, purportedly provides a commentary on India’s political scene under the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi. Several members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have insisted that the government pull the series off-air or take out key scenes.