On Friday, the Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest to Aparna Purohit, Amazon Prime Video’s head of original content in India, in connection with the ongoing investigation against web series ‘Tandav’. The top court also asked Purohit to co-operate in the ongoing investigation.
Purohit approached the Supreme Court with an anticipatory bail plea after the Allahabad high court denied her anticipatory bail in February. The top executive of Amazon has been named in multiple FIRs filed against ‘Tandav’, a Hindi word meaning fury, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and wrongful depiction of police personnel.
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Subhash Reddy observed that the regulations, recently mandated by the Centre to regulate Over the Top (OTT) platforms, are mere guidelines and don’t have provision for any action against digital platforms.
Political drama ‘Tandav’ started streaming on Amazon Prime Video on January 15. It immediately got embroiled in legal cases and police complaints from various group whichy alleged that ‘Tandav’ depicts Hindu gods and goddesses in a derogatory manner and offends religious beliefs.
The nine-episode web series stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub and others.
Earlier this week, Amazon Prime Video issued a fresh public apology – this time ‘unconditionally’ – for ‘Tandav’ and said it has already removed scenes found objectionable by viewers. “Amazon Prime Video again deeply regrets that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable in the recently launched fictional series ‘Tandav’. This was never our intention, and the scenes that were objected to were removed or edited when they were brought to our attention,” it said in a statement.
Purohit and others associated with the show were questioned by the police in the last few months. A team of Uttar Pradesh Police – where three FIRs were filed against ‘Tandav’ – even visited Mumbai to question Saif Ali Khan and other actors.