Observing it always felt pre-censorship is impermissible, the Supreme Court Thursday wondered how can there be a pre-screening committee for web series, films or other programmes which are directly released on online platforms.
An apex court bench of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi was hearing a plea filed by Mirzapur-resident Sujeet Kumar Singh for setting up a pre-screening committee for web series, films or other programmes which are directly released on online platforms.
“How can there be a pre screening committee for web series? There is a particular legislation. Unless you say OTT (over-the- top) is also a part of it…you must say that existing legislation must apply to OTT. Various questions will arise because transmission occurs from other countries.”
“For OTT satellite transmission is from other countries and not this one even though viewers may be here. Post exhibition redressal mechanism is different. Your petition has to be more detailed. File a better one,” the bench said while directing the petitioner to withdraw the plea.
An over-the-top (OTT) platform is a service that enables delivery of video and live stream feeds to any internet-enabled device. This allows one to deliver and monetise video content directly to viewers without any third-party platform.
The top court also refused to stay the third season of the popular ‘Mirzapur’ web series, which is currently under production.
The court had earlier sought responses from the Centre, Amazon Prime Video and Excel Entertainment Pvt Ltd on the plea which also alleged ‘Mirzapur’ tarnished the historical and cultural image of the place by showing it as a city of goons.
The petition said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should be directed to make certification by a government authority mandatory before the release of a web series, film or other such programmes on online platforms.
It sought a direction to the government to frame rules and regulations for release of such content on online platforms and demanded that they be censored