Supreme Court notice to govt on PIL to regulate online streaming
The Supreme court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre over a petition demanding a mechanism to monitor, manage and regulate content on video streaming platforms.
The petition filed by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia said unlike in several countries, streaming platforms in India remain unregulated.
The petitioners said their aim is to protect the constitutional right to life, by preventing these platforms from abusing their freedom of expression.
They requested the setting up of a board headed by a secretary-level IAS officer, with members from varied fields including movie, cinematographic, media, defence forces, legal and education.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said, “We will issue notice. We don’t know if it is possible, but we are issuing notice.”
The petition is filed against the Union of India, ministry of information and broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India. It said India has no law or autonomous body governing, monitoring and managing such digital content, and it is made available to the wider public without any filter or screening.
Ironically, the petition— taken up on a day cinemas have been allowed to reopen with restrictions—states that with theatres unlikely to open anytime soon, streaming platforms allow filmmakers and artists to release their content without any censor board clearance.
As per the petitioners, there are many streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, TVF Play, Yupp TV and Hungama Play which operate without any code of conduct or a partial one. There are over 40 such platforms providing paid, ad-inclusive, and free content to approximately 130 crore people across India, the petitioners said.