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SC favours restrictions on OTT platforms, says “pornography is being shown”

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday favoured restrictions on over the top (OTT) platforms stating that there should be some screening of shows and web series being telecast on such medium.

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“Some regulation was needed as in some cases even pornography is being shown on such platforms and a balance has to be maintained,”. The top court bench also asked the government to place recently framed regulation before it by tomorrow.

The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal of the commercial head of Amazon Prime Video Aparna Purohit against the Allahabad high court order that denied anticipatory bail to her in the ongoing investigation over the web series ‘Tandav’.

The court will examine the Centre’s regulation and bail plea of Aparna Purohit tomorrow.

On February 25, the government notified new rules for social media and OTT platforms ostensibly to provide a level playing field to media platforms cutting across print, television and digital platforms, while adding that digital platforms doing business in India would have to follow the law of the land.

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Under the new rules, the OTT platforms and Digital media will be required to disclose information about where they publish, the nature of the content they share as well as the size of their subscriber data. They will also be required to set up a grievance redressal mechanism.

For regulation of OTT platforms, the government mandated that a self-regulation body, headed by the retired judge or an eminent person, should be set up.

A separate oversight mechanism, as a third tier, has also been proposed.

The high court on February 25 declined to give protection from arrest to Purohit by dismissing the anticipatory bail application of her.

The Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against the top Amazon Prime executive for the derogatory depiction of Hindu deities and promoting religious enmity through the series.

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‘Tandav’ actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Purohit and the makers had approached the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest on the FIRs registered against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and telecasting objectionable content.

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