Supreme Court agrees to hear PIL and issues notice to regulate content on online streaming platforms

The plea, filed by Advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurv Arhatia, seeks for directions for the “establishment of a proper board/institution/association for regulating OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice and sought the Centre’s response in the matter.
While issuing notice, the Court observed,

“We don’t know if this is possible, but we are issuing notice.”

Due to pandemic there is no regular working of cinema theaters and the creators have taken a route of streaming platforms to make their content available.
But these contents are made available without taking the clearance certificate from Central Board of Flim Certification.
This makes it necessary for the content on these platforms to be regulated and monitored, as opposed to the current setup, where unfiltered content is available for the public at large in the absence of an autonomous body.

Petition filed in Supreme Court stated that “These unregulated portals are putting everything without any moderation and common people in India without are watching the same at their houses which could ultimately lead to various problems in coming future.”

The plea further adds that as of 2019 end, the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting was required to publish a list of non-negotiable prohibited content. Over the Top (OTT) platforms were also urged to evolve a self-regulatory body to monitor and screen the adult and political content that is made available for streaming.

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