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SC: New OTT rules lack enamel, no mechanism to screen content

2021-03-05 21:26:52 :

The Supreme Court docket stated on Friday that the federal government’s new rules for OTT platforms have “no teeth, as there is no provision for the prosecution of those who do not abide by these rules”.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan stated: “These rules are only guidelines… no mechanism to control (the content on OTT platforms). Without legislation, one cannot control it.”

The remark was made by the highest courtroom throughout the anticipatory bail plea listening to of Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit in opposition to an Allahabad Excessive Court docket order, which declined to entertain her anticipatory bail plea in reference to the FIRs lodged in opposition to her over the net collection ‘Tandav’.

The highest courtroom noticed that “uncontrolled and unscreened” viewing of movies on OTT platforms is a matter. “One of the issues, which has cropped up in the facts of the present case, is regarding control and regulation of the platforms on which web series are released,” famous the bench additionally comprising Justice R. Subhash Reddy.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, showing for Purohit, submitted that the federal government had issued a notification on February 25, 2021, introducing the rules, particularly The Info Expertise (Middleman Pointers and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“A perusal of the rules indicate that they are more and more in the form of guidelines and have no effective mechanism for either screening or taking appropriate action against those who violate the guidelines,” the highest courtroom stated after inspecting the brand new rules.

Solicitor Common Tushar Mehta, showing for the Centre, submitted that the federal government shall think about and take acceptable steps for regulation or laws as could also be discovered match by it and the identical shall be positioned earlier than the highest courtroom. Mehta requested for 2 weeks’ time to submit a response within the matter.

Rohatgi submitted that with regard to the FIR lodged in Lucknow, Purohit is cooperating with the investigation and the excessive courtroom has already granted safety to the petitioner.

He added that his consumer is prepared to cooperate with the investigation into one other FIR. He clarified that his consumer isn’t concerned with the manufacturing, writing or course of the net collection and is merely an officer of the corporate which owns the platform on which the net collection was launched.

Within the backdrop of the highest courtroom’s remark on Thursday on pornographic content on OTT platforms, Rohatgi stated the remark has been extensively reported by the media.

“There is no such thing on Amazon Prime and Netflix. I see them every evening. There is no such content,” submitted Rohatgi.

Mehta replied that the bench meant pornographic content. To which, Rohatgi stated: “I see so many shows. There is no pornographic content.”

The bench additionally granted safety from arrest to Purohit, who had moved the highest courtroom apprehending arrest.

“We direct that the petitioner shall not be arrested subject to her cooperation with the investigation. She shall appear before the investigating officer as and when required,” the highest courtroom stated in its order.

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