Supreme Court Says ‘Some OTT’s’ Showing Adult Content; Calls For Screening Before Release

Recently, Aparna Purohit, commercial head of Amazon Prime filed a plea and has challenged the judgement of Allahabad High Court wherein a pre-arrest bail was denied to her. This is in connection to the criminal cases registered with the web series ‘Tandav’.

Aparna Purohit has been booked under following offences :-

  • Sections 66 (Computer-related offences),
  • 66F (Punishment for cyber terrorism) and 67 (Transmitting obscene material) IT Act,
  • 2008 (as amended) apart from Sections 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups),
  • 295 (Defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion)
  • 505(1)(b) (Public mischief)
  • 505(2) (Statements promoting hatred between classes)
  • 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of IPC.

On Thursday, Supreme Court while hearing her plea said that some OTT platforms should be screened. The bench remarked that some of the platforms show adult content.

Ashok Bhushan, Bench of justice who was presiding over the matter has directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to circulate the new Information Technology Rules 2021 which were notified last week

Courtroom Exchange

Purohit’s advocate Mukul Rohatgi, said that he finds the case particularly shocking as case is registered against the petitioner who is an employee, whereas the company has not been charged.

Traditional film viewing has become obsolete and due to this watching cinema on internet is the next thing and there is an impending decision about the screening of content on these platforms.

Siddharth Luthra, Senior advocate said that new rules had been notified by the centre which called for regulating the content on OTT platforms. He added that a board would be constituted for regulating the content.

The bench noted that some platforms show adult content and asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place the regulations in front of bench and circulate them also.

Religious Sentiments Hurt By “Tandav” : Allahabad HC

While referring to the objectionable scenes between Lord Krishna & Lord Shiva, Allahabad HC said that they are part of religious faith of the majority community and the offensive use of the same will hurt the sentiments of majority community.

Also, the HC said that the title of the series, “Tandav”, which is a particular act associated with Lord shiva who according to the majority community is considered to be creator, conservator and destroyer of mankind altogether.

While talking about other scenes which allude to the incidents which took place in JNU is the advice of Sage Narad to Lord Shiva where he advises to post a tweet where campus students become traitors and raise slogans of freedom.

Denying anticipatory bail to Aparna Purohit, in its 20 page order Allahabad HC said that when such crimes are committed then the “the forces inimical to the interest of this country become active and they make it an issue and raise it before different national and international forums alleging that the Indian citizens have become intolerant and ‘India’ has become an unsafe place to live.”

To drive home its point that many a movies have used the names of Hindu Deities and shown them in bad light, Court names a few movies like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Satyam Shivam Sundram, P.K., Oh My God. Citing Padmavati and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela, court said that attempts to subvert the image of these personalities has been to earn money.

This trend, according to the court is growing with time and if not contained timely may cause dire consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order.

Court has called these depictions to be religiously, socially, and communally offensive in nature. Court also cited that unlike Hindi Film Industry, film industry in south has not indulged in such acts. As young generation is relatively unaware of the social, cultural fabric of the country and are impressionable, they start believe everything that is shown on the screen which is detrimental as it destroys the concept of the survival of this country having tremendous diversity of all kinds as a united nation.

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