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- SC issued notices to the Center, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Mobile Association of India on 15 October
- Demand for proper board / organizati on / organization to monitor and manage the content on OTT / streaming platforms
The government is thinking of taking ‘some steps’ to regulate OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime over the top. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain has given this information to the Supreme Court. The court has asked the government to reply within six weeks on a PIL seeking the regulation of OTT through an autonomous body. The bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian was of the opinion that the public interest litigants should first talk to the government in this regard.
Government should tell in six weeks what steps will be taken
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said at the beginning of the hearing of the case that the government was thinking of taking ‘some steps’ to regulate OTT. The Chief Justice asked Jain to explain what steps the government could take in the matter and asked him to reply in six weeks. The Supreme Court had issued notices to the Central Government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Mobile Association of India on October 15 last year in this case.
Censor board certificate runs without content
Two PILs – Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apoorva Aadhatiya, had sought a public interest litigation to set up an appropriate board / institution / organization to monitor and manage the content on OTT / streaming platforms and digital media. He said in the petition, ‘Cinema theater is not likely to open soon. In such a way, OTT / streaming and digital media platforms have given a way for filmmakers and artists to release content. There is no need to get a certificate from the censor board to run a series or a film.
Public and judiciary pressure on government
The appeal states that there is no law or autonomous body for monitoring and managing digital content. It is provided to the public without any filter or screening. There is increasing pressure on the government to remove this deficiency in the system from the public and the judiciary. No government department has taken any major step to regulate these OTT / streaming platforms.
OTT platforms have not done self regulation OK
The Public Interest Litigation also states that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has made arrangements for self regulation since February 2020. No OTT / streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, G5 and Hotstar have agreed on it. The ministry had earlier emphasized the need to regulate digital media before the Supreme Court in another case. He had said that the Supreme Court should make a committee a court friend before issuing guidelines on control of hate speech in digital media.