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SC asks Centre to inform on steps being taken to regulate OTT platforms

The apex court has issued a notice on a plea submitted by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia. The plea sought setting up of a proper board, institution or association for managing and monitoring OTT, streaming and media platforms

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 16, 2021 | Updated 18:48 IST
SC asks Centre to inform on steps being taken to regulate OTT platforms
During the hearing, the SC asked the petitioners to speak to the government via their representative

The Supreme Court was not convinced with the Centre's submission that it is "contemplating" regulations for over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, etc. The top court has now asked the government to inform in definitive terms as to what it proposes to do to regulate OTT platforms.

"Everybody in the world can contemplate... You put it out in an affidavit what you are doing," Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, as reported by The Hindu.

The apex court has issued a notice on a plea submitted by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia to the court. The plea sought setting up of a proper board, institution or association for managing and monitoring OTT, streaming and media platforms. During the hearing, the SC asked the petitioners to speak to the government via their representative.

Later in the hearing, the SC decided that the Centre should give a written reply to the petition filed by Shekhar and Arthatia, according to the daily's report.

The petitioners argued that there is no law or autonomous body managing digital and OTT content which is currently being consumed by the masses without any filter or screening.

"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 plea stated, according to the daily.  

None of the OTT/streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar, have signed the self-regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020, the plea reportedly added.

Also read: Centre to lay out OTT regulation guidelines soon: Prakash Javadekar

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