Amazon India Head Aparna Purohit Should Not Be Arrested: SC In Tandav Case

Aparna Purohit of Amazon has been given relief from arrest over the controversy surrounding web series Tandav.

Tanvi Akhauri
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Who Is Aparna Purohit aparna purohit

The Supreme Court has stayed the arrest of Amazon India head Aparna Purohit in the case related to web series Tandav. The apex court on Friday observed that the centre's new guidelines for OTT and internet content "have no teeth" and thus cannot be controlled by the government without legislation.


The Amazon web series Tandav starring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sarah Jane Dias and Kritika Kamra had been under scrutiny in the weeks following its release in January this year. Parts of the show's content had sparked outrage for having hurt the religious sentiments of Hindu groups. Multiple FIRs had been filed against Tandav's makers, actors and Amazon executives, across Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, demanding their arrest.

Aparna Purohit Gets Relief From Arrest

The web series makers were facing criminal cases for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and disrespecting religion under sections 153A and 295 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC). In January, another SC bench had rejected protection from arrest to Tandav makers saying, “Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute. You cannot play the role of a character that hurts the sentiments of a community."

Now SC bench led by Justices Ashok Bhushan and Subhash Reddy, while listening to Purohit's appeal that challenged the Allahabad HC order denying her anticipatory bail petition, granted protection from arrest to her.

"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," the court was quoted saying as per Bar & Bench.

The government recently proposed reformed guidelines for the regulation of online content, which has drawn a mixed response from the social media audience. Under the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, online sites will be required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and take down content deemed offensive within 36 hours of a legal order. OTT platforms have also been directed to appoint self-regulation bodies. Read more here.

Watch the cast of Tandav in conversation with SheThePeople here: 

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