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Set up pre-screening body to curb nudity, vulgarity in web series: Bombay high court

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Friday took strong exception to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other Internet channels broadcasting web series showing pornographic contents, crudity, sexual or derogatory language, besides violence of various degrees.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2018 08:37 IST
Pradip Maitra
Pradip Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
nudity,vulgarity,web series
The Bombay high court directed the ministries concerned to set up a pre-screening committee for curbing crudity, sexual or unsavoury language, vulgar actions, nudity, sex and immodesty on web series before they are released.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Friday took strong exception over pornographic contents of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other channels on Internet. The high court was unhappy with these channels for broadcasting pornographic contents, crudity, sexual or derogatory language besides violence of various degrees. The court directed the information and broadcasting ministry to initiate effective steps to curb the disturbing trend.

Responding to a public interest litigation, a high court division bench comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Murlidhar Giratkar also directed the ministries concerned to set up a pre-screening committee for curbing crudity, sexual or unsavoury language, vulgar actions, nudity, sex and immodesty on web series, and monitor them as well as advertisements, before they are released on online media.

The PIL, filed a city lawyer Divya Gontiya, requested the Court to issue orders aimed at curbing the deluge of vulgarity, violent scenes and crude language on web series. “The screening of pornographic contents, vulgar gestures and talks are overriding the Indian culture and morality,” Gontiya stressed in her PIL.

The PIL pointed out that the contents of the web series are in connection with political, physical relationship, and/or other sensitive subjects. “Many times the contents hurt religious sentiments. There are content monitoring authorities for TV, newspapers, films, etc. but there is no controlling authority for web series. Therefore, an independent monitoring machinery should be set up to control over such web contents,” Gontiya said.

“Take care that no series, national or international, is directly published on any platform,” the court said and ordered issuance of guiding principles. “If the websites are found violating provisions of Cinematograph Act, Indecent Representation of Women Prohibition Act 1986 and other similar Acts, then act tough against the guilty,” the high court directed the concerned ministries in the notices.

First Published: Oct 06, 2018 07:17 IST