Notice has been issued by apex court where petition was seeking formulation of autonomous body to regulate OTT Platforms Like Netflix And Amazon Prime:
Yesterday, the apex court issued notice to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Internet and Mobile Association of India in a petition seeking regulation of OTT platforms by an autonomous body.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice and seeks the Centre’s response in the matter.
The petition filed through Advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurv Arhatia argues the court to direct the center to establish a proper board/institution/association for the monitoring and management of content on different OTT/Streaming and digital media platform.
Moreover, the petitioner contends that as cinemas/theatres are unlikely to open anytime soon, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have allowed filmmakers, artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates from the Central Board of Film Certification and in the absence of any law or autonomous body governing digital content, content is being made available to the public at large without any filter for screening. The petitioner furthers says that the government is facing heat to fill this lacuna with regulations from the public and the Judiciary; still, the relevant government departments have not done anything significant to regularize these OTT/Streaming Platforms. Meanwhile, the petitioner also highlights that during the lockdown content on the platforms has increased which results in the “exploitation of creative liberty” which entails pushing the boundaries on portraying violation of social mores, such as violence, sex scenes, and obscene languages – at times without any warning.
Further, the petitioner with references to the Hotstar is airing foreign series like Game of Thrones, Amazon airing movies like The Wolf of Wall Street, Netflix airing movies like 365 Days, etc. in the country which are having various scenes inappropriate for the households including nudity, sexy, drugs, smoke, crime, etc and Indian series and movies like Mirzapur, Paatal Lok, Sacred Games and Koffee with Karan are also full of inappropriate content for common households and is not subjected to any moderation by any government, which in turn is harmful to society at large.
So, the petitioner argues the court to form an autonomous body to monitor and filter the contents and regulate the videos on various platforms for viewers in India and that body should be headed by the IAS officer of Secretary level and to have members from varied fields.