New Delhi, Mar 23 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today stayed the proceedings in all the petitions seeking regulation of the content on the over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, ZEE5, etc. pending before High Courts across the country, saying that it will hear them together.
The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued the directions while hearing the Centre’s petition seeking transfer of pending cases in different High Courts for the regulation of OTT platforms.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the High Courts are also hearing this matter. The Centre has also filed a plea for clubbing of all these petitions before various high courts.
On this, the Apex Court said that as long as the matter is pending in this court, no High Court will hear the matter. The court listed the matter for further hearing after Holi’s vacation.
The court was hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigation(PIL) filed by Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, appearing for Justice for Rights Foundation, for the regulation of content on OTT platforms by an autonomous body.
The petition sought the set up of a proper board, institution or association to properly monitor content in OTT digital media platforms and apply censorship if needed. The court had issued necessary notices in this regard.
Also, the Central Government has filed an affidavit in the Apex Court regarding OTT platforms. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) said that according to the new rules, the content of OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime is being monitored.
The ministry through an affidavit informed the Apex Court that a new rule for monitoring the OTT platform’s content – Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 was introduced this year and now there is a provision in sections 67,67A and 67B of this Act that the government can prohibit objectionable content. ILNS/SNG/ RJ