Centre Informs SC That It Is Contemplating ‘Some Action’ On Regulating OTT Platforms
Centre Informs SC That It Is Contemplating ‘Some Action’ On Regulating OTT PlatformsSupreme Court of India (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The central government has informed the Supreme Court (SC) that it is planning to introduce some regulations for OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, Times of India reports. Chief Justice S A Bobde led a three-member bench addressing a PIL seeking an autonomous body for regulation of OTT.

The judges were initially considering asking the petitioner to approach the government for a solution. However, the apex court instead has now asked the Narendra Modi-led dispensation to submit its response within six weeks on this issue.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain apprised the judges that the centre was contemplating some action for the regulation of OTT platforms. CJI Bobde tagged the matter with the pending petition as he pursued to know more about government’s approach to this matter. He hence allotted them six weeks’ time to file a reply on the concerned issue.

“With cinema theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for film makers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board,” the plea registered by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia read.

They argued that there is no law or autonomous body to govern, monitor and manage digital content that is rolled out to the larger public without any screening or filtering process.

The petition further added, “Lack of legislation governing OTT/Streaming Platforms is becoming evident with each passing day and every new case that is filed on these grounds. 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 regularise these OTT/Streaming Platforms.”

The advocates mentioned that OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Zee5, Netflix, Hotstar and the likes had not signed the self-regulation given out by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from February 2020 onward.

Earlier, the ministry had told the apex court in a separate case that the SC itself may first appoint a committee as impartial advisors before the guidelines to regulate hate speech in digital content are prepared.

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