Internet platforms showing porn in the name of movies must be regulated: SC


Internet platforms are now the preferred move of watching movies and cannot show pornography in the name of movies, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, calling for regulations that would ensure pre-screening of content shown on such platforms.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan made these remarks during a hearing of a plea for bail filed by an Amazon executive, Aparna Purohit, who has been arrested in connection with the Tandav series produced by Amazon.

The actor and the producer of the series are facing multiple cases throughout the country regarding alleged adverse references to Lord Shiva in the movie. Amazon has deleted these references since then and issued multiple public apologies to assuage right-wing anger over the issue.

Justice Bhushan, while hearing Purohit’s bail plea being argued by senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, observed that during the lockdown and the pandemic-induced social isolation “people no longer go to cinema halls to watch movies”.

“Watching movies on Internet platforms is now the norm,” he said. “There must be some regulations, which will screen such content (being screened on these platforms,” he suggested.

“They are showing pornography in some cases in the name of movies.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed with his sentiments. “These shows have such filthy abuses,” he observed. Mehta said that the government had brought in new OTT regulations just weeks ago and agreed to place these before the court on Friday.

The court said that it would hear the bail pleas on Friday after having a look at the regulations.

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Appearing for Purohit, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that he was not opposed to any regulations. There should be a censor board for Internet platforms too, he agreed.

But he said that the new regulations would not apply in this case. He also alleged that the multiple pleas, at least 10, against the series’ lead actor and producer had been filed by publicity seekers.





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