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Supreme Court justices observe need for ‘screening’ of OTT content: Report

Supreme Court
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

A Supreme Court bench orally observed that “screening” of content on OTT streaming platforms is necessary, Live Law reported. Two sources also told MediaNama about the exchange. “In fact, some platforms even show pornography,” the bench of justices R Subhash Reddy and Ashok Bhushan reportedly observed. It’s not clear which streaming services the bench was referring to. The bench reportedly said, “Traditional film viewing has become obsolete. People watching cinema on internet has become common. Our query is that these should be screened?”

The court was hearing a petition from Amazon, which was appealing a denial of anticipatory bail by the Allahabad High Court in the Tandav case. Aparna Purohit, who heads Indian originals for Amazon Prime Video, has been under threat of arrest thanks to what Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing Amazon, termed as “publicity seekers who have been filing cases all over India” after being offended by the show. Amazon the company itself wasn’t impugned in the proceedings at the lower court, Rohatgi reportedly pointed out.

The court was then informed of the Intermediary Rules by an advocate, after which the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place a copy of the Rules on the record. Cases on OTT regulation are pending at the Supreme Court still, and one petitioner MediaNama spoke to said they intended on pressing forward with their demands even after the Intermediary Rules’s notification.

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