The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed all proceedings pending earlier than numerous excessive courts throughout the nation for regulation and functioning of Over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and so on by the federal government.
A bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, stayed additional proceedings of pleas pending earlier than numerous excessive courts and mentioned it will hear the petitions pending earlier than it on an analogous situation within the second week of April.
Justice MR Shah, additionally comprising the bench, mentioned there are lots of excessive courts the place these circumstances are pending and proceedings of all these circumstances can keep.
The apex courtroom was listening to a batch of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, showing for Justice for Rights Foundation for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous physique.
The petitions sought a correct board, establishment and affiliation for the monitoring and administration of content material on completely different OTT, streaming and digital media platforms.
The central authorities has additionally filed the switch petition in search of switch of circumstances pending in numerous excessive courts for the regulation of OTT platforms. The Supreme Court bench had earlier issued a discover on Centre’s plea and tagged it with different petitions.
Also, the ministry of data and broadcasting, within the affidavit submitted earlier than the apex courtroom, assured it that agency test on the content material on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime as new rules are in place.
It acknowledged that the brand new Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 has been notified to handle the problem.
Earlier, the highest courtroom had requested the Centre to apprise it on what authorities proposes to do to control OTT platforms and requested it to file an affidavit on what it’s planning on doing after the federal government mentioned it”s engaged on the problem.
One of the petitions, filed by advocate Jha, mentioned that at current there is no such thing as a regulation or autonomous physique governing, monitoring and managing such digital contents and it’s made accessible to the general public at massive with none filter or screening.
The PIL mentioned that not one of the OTT/streaming platforms together with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation offered by the data and broadcasting ministry since February 2020.
There are over 40 such platforms offering paid, ad-inclusive, and free content material to roughly 130 crore individuals throughout India, the petitioners mentioned.
The petitions mentioned their intention is to guard the constitutional proper to life, by stopping these platforms from abusing their freedom of expression.
The plea requested the organising of a board headed by a secretary-level IAS officer, with members from different fields together with film, cinematographic, media, defence forces, authorized, and training.
The plea acknowledged, “With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board.”
In a separate case, the Centre had earlier informed the apex courtroom that there’s a want to control digital media and that the courtroom might first appoint a committee of individuals as amicus earlier than laying down tips with respect to the regulation of hate speech in media.
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