By LE Staff

New Delhi, March 4: The Supreme Court on Thursday said there should be a mechanism to screen the programmes aired on over-the-top (OTT) platforms as some of them show pornographic content too, and directed the government to place before it by Friday the recent guidelines to regulate social media platforms. 

“Now watching movies on the internet and OTT has become common. We are of the view there must be some screening,” a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy said. “A balance has to be struck as some OTT platforms are also showing pornographic materials on their platforms,” it observed.

The top court was hearing an appeal by India head of Amazon Aparna Purohit, who has challenged a February 25 order by the Allahabad High Court denying anticipatory bail to her in the ongoing investigation against the web series ‘Tandav’.

The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place before it the recent guidelines of the government to regulate social media platforms on Friday, when it would hear the plea.

On January 27, the apex court had declined to grant interim protection from any coercive action to Ali Abbas Zafar, Director of the web series, Purohit, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show’s writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and asked them to seek bail from courts concerned in the FIRs lodged in connection with the web series.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, termed the case against her as “shocking”, saying she is neither a producer nor an actor of the series but was still named in around 10 cases across the country.

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