The Supreme Court advocates a review mechanism for video streaming services following profanity complaints from the ruling BJP party.

India’s highest court is advocating a review mechanism for online video streaming services dominated by Amazon and Netflix in the country.

The US-based streaming platforms have been complained by lawmakers from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others that some of the shows promote profanity or violate religious beliefs.

“We believe these types of content should be reviewed. What are they showing? They also show pornography, ”Supreme Court Justice Ashok Bhushan said Thursday.

Traditional viewing of movies in India, home of the thriving Bollywood industry, has changed as fewer people go to cinemas and web series become commonplace, Bhushan said.

The remarks came after the Supreme Court heard a request from Aparna Purohit, head of Amazon’s Indian director for Prime Video, for protection from arrest in a case involving a controversial political drama, Tandav, a Hindi word for “Anger”.

Tandav plays top Bollywood actors but has fought police and court cases alleging the show portrayed derogatory Hindu gods and violated religious beliefs.

The court will continue to hear the case on Friday. Bhushan has asked the government and the platform to provide details of all the regulations currently in place for online video sharing platforms.

Content on these platforms is not subject to review. However, the government has ordered the platforms to categorize content into five categories based on the age groups for which it would be appropriate.

Purohit’s attorney told the Supreme Court that her case was a free speech case.

Last week, the Uttar Pradesh police questioned the executive for nearly four hours in a separate case filed against the show.

Purohit turned to the Apex court after a state court denied her early bail request, saying the Tandav series had violated religious sentiment and it needed to cooperate with the police.

Amazon issued a rare public apology for Tandav this week, saying that some scenes that were found uncomfortable were edited or removed.

In January 2020, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Prime Video was doing well around the world, “but nowhere is it better than India”.

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