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Supreme Court of India sends notice to the Centre on regulation of digital content on OTT platforms

On February 8, 2019, Justice for Rights Foundation (JRF), a non-governmental organisation, had filed a petition before the Delhi High Court alleging that the digital streaming platforms show "uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar" content. After the Delhi High Court dismissed their plea, JRF has approached the Supreme Court. And now the apex court has issued a notice to the Centre to regulate the content on OTT platforms in India.

In this new petition, they have included the angle of DTH, cable companies and consumers. According to JRF, the library of several digital entertainment streaming platforms includes content that can incite violence and spoil the audience and that they violate provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

Satyam Singh Rajput, founder of JRF said, “These platforms are running (in) a legal vacuum in an illegal way. My point, is who is responsible if these platforms’ content causes riots or shows something against India.”

This new petition filed at the Supreme Court challenges Delhi High Court’s verdict. In January this year, Online Curated Content Providers (OCCPs) including Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Arre, SonyLIV and ALTBalaji came together with a self-regulatory code to regulate video streaming content. OCCPs voluntarily signed a self-regulatory Code of Best Practices under Inter and Mobile Association of India.

As of now, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond on whether the petition holds merit or not. Watch this space for more updates.

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