Tandav Row: Supreme Court grants Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit protection from arrest, says new OTT rules lack teeth, need law to regulate content

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The Supreme Court on Friday granted protection from arrest to India Head of Amazon Prime Video, Aparna Purohit in the FIR registered against her with regards to the web series Tandav. The series is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and stars Saif Ali Khan, Md Zeeshan Ayyub, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Gauahar Khan and others.

Justices Ashok Bhushan and Subhash Reddy, who were presiding over the hearing observed that the regulations in place to govern Over The Top (OTT) platforms ‘lack teeth’ and are ‘mere guidelines’ and cannot be regulated without a law in place. Justice Bhusan said, “We went through the Technology intermediary guidelines. But there is no teeth. No power of prosecution. These are just guidelines. No mechanism to control it. Without legislation you cannot control it.”

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The Court was hearing Purohit’s appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court order which has denied her plea for an anticipatory bail in FIR filed in Greater Noida with regard to the Tandav web series. The top court had asked the Central government to submit the OTT regulations brought in force on February 5, but the court noted that they were not sufficient.

To this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the government will prepare a draft law and submit before court for consideration. The Supreme Court issued notice to the government in the matter and gave protection to Purohit from arrest in the Greater Noida FIR subject to her co-operation in the ongoing investigation in the case.

(Source: Bar & Bench/IANS)

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