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For the screening of OTT material, the Supreme Court says that some shows show pornography

Arrested in connection with the investigation of web series ‘Tandava’ in the case of Amazon Prime’s commercial head Aparna Purohit, after hearing against the Allahabad HC verdict denying his arrest.

The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear to OTT (over-the-top) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon that it is in favor of the “screening” content shown by them. It stated that some of the films hosted by the platform were pornographic.

“Watching traditional films has become extinct. Films and web series are now viewed by the public on these platforms. Should there be some screening? We think there should be some screening… some films have pornography on them, ”said Justice Ashok Bhushan, who is heading a bench, which also includes Justice R. Subhash Reddy.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the bail of Amazon producer Aparna Purohit, said it was not “about pornography, but the right to freedom of expression”.

‘Gotta balance’

Justice Bhushan retorted, “But there must be a balance.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the material contained “dirty abuses”.

The hearing was based on a petition by Ms. Purohit, the commercial head of Amazon Prime, against the Allahabad High Court’s decision to grant bail before her arrest in connection with the investigation. dance of fury, A web series organized by Manch. The FIR states that the series ridiculed the Hindu gods and the political corridors of the country.

Justice Bhushan said that the court wanted to consider Ms. Purohit’s case in view of the new guidelines notified by the government to hold media and OTT platforms accountable for their content.

Hearing on friday

The bench asked for the guidelines to be kept on record and scheduled a hearing for 5 March.

The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediate and Digital Media Code of Conduct) 2021 regulations require streaming platforms to follow a new three-tier self-regulatory grievance redressal system.

It also includes an independent self-regulatory body headed by a High Court or Supreme Court judge, who will decide on matters related to the material.

The guideline also mandates the formation of an inter-departmental committee in the Ministry of Information to monitor OTT platforms.

Mr Rohatgi said the case against Ms Purohit was “shocking”. OTT platforms were like cinema halls where one had to pay to watch a film.

Mr Rohatgi said the new guidelines were “like a censor board”, but that they would come into operation “some time later”.

“This John [Purohit] There is only one company employee. The company is not accused… These cases have been filed by campaigners, ”argued Mr. Rohatgi.

“We are clearly of the view that screening should take place. Let us see the guidelines… We will take it up tomorrow, ”said Justice Bhushan, concluding the virtual hearing.

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