Screening of OTT platform is necessary, pornographic content is also shown, Supreme Court remarks

Supreme Court of India
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Harleen Kaur Grewal

New Delhi, March 4, 2021: The Supreme Court on Thursday deemed the screening of OTT platforms necessary since pornographic content is also shown on these platforms. The Supreme Court said that a system is required to monitor such programs. Along with this, the court also asked the central government to present ready guidelines regarding the regulation of social media platforms.

During the hearing on a petition filed by Amazon’s India head Aparna Purohit against the Allahabad High Court order in the ongoing investigation against the web series ‘Tandav’, Justice Ashok Bhushan said, “It has become common to watch cinema on the Internet and OTT. Pornographic content is also displayed.” The Bench also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to present the guidelines recently released for social media.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit in the Supreme Court, said that around 10 cases have been registered against his client, while he is only an employee, not a producer who would be streaming the web series on OTT platforms.

On 25 February, the High Court refused to grant protection to Purohit from arrest and rejected the application for an anticipatory bail plea. Rejecting Purohit, the High Court had said that such people make “portray eminent faces of the religion of a major community in a very poor way” and take advantage of the country’s tradition of tolerance.