SC calls for tightening the regulatory norms for OTT platforms.

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2 – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Synopsis- SC should try to stop the ongoing outrage against web series Tandav not join it.

Introduction-

  • The Supreme Court was hearing Aparna Purohit’s [the commercial head of Amazon Prime Video India] plea for anticipatory bail in the complaint against her over controversial web series Tandav.
  • Aparna Purohit has filed an application for advance bail after the Allahabad High Court denied her anticipatory bail.
  • The Allahabad high court stated that the web series contains some offensive scenes [now deleted] which is a punishable offense.

What is the ruling of the Supreme Court?

A key highlight of SC ruling-

  • The SC calls for tightening the regulations for OTT [over the top] streaming services.
  • The SC ruled that the recently notified rules for digital media and intermediaries lack teeth as they don’t allow pre-screening of content or have a provision to prosecute violators.

What is the misplaced concern?

  • The ruling was very unusual to call for stricter regulation after finding that the IT rule 2021 lacked punishment provisions.
  • Curbing freedom of speech and expression– The new rules might have chilling effect on free speech and expression through digital media.
      • The High Court’s decision is tilted against upholding religious sentiments while restricting individual freedom of expression.
  • Some unusual claim by the High court
      • The title Tandav itself could hurt the sentiments of a majority of Indians as it is associated with Lord Shiva.
      • Hindi film industry, in comparison to South-Indian industry, was generally disrespectful to the Hindu religion.

Way forward-

  • The Supreme Court should not encourage outrage to influence rules and regulations.
        • For example– The SC uses the web series Tandav case as an occasion for tightening the regulatory norms for OTT streaming services.
  • The Supreme Court should not allow anyone who feels offended to sue anyone.
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