The Supreme Court docket on Tuesday stayed all proceedings pending earlier than numerous excessive courts throughout the nation for regulation and functioning of Over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and so forth by the federal government.

A bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, stayed additional proceedings of pleas pending earlier than numerous excessive courts and stated it will hear the petitions pending earlier than it on the same concern within the second week of April.

Justice MR Shah, additionally comprising the bench, stated there are various excessive courts the place these circumstances are pending and proceedings of all these circumstances can keep.

The apex courtroom was listening to a batch of Public Curiosity Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, showing for Justice for Rights Basis for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous physique.

The petitions sought a correct board, establishment and affiliation for the monitoring and administration of content material on totally different OTT, streaming and digital media platforms.

The central authorities has additionally filed the switch petition searching for switch of circumstances pending in numerous excessive courts for the regulation of OTT platforms. The Supreme Court docket bench had earlier issued a discover on Centre’s plea and tagged it with different petitions.

Additionally, the ministry of knowledge and broadcasting, within the affidavit submitted earlier than the apex courtroom, assured it that agency test on the content material on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime as new laws are in place.

It acknowledged that the brand new Data Know-how (Tips for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Guidelines, 2021 has been notified to handle the problem.

Earlier, the highest courtroom had requested the Centre to apprise it on what authorities proposes to do to control OTT platforms and requested it to file an affidavit on what it’s planning on doing after the federal government stated it”s engaged on the problem.

One of many petitions, filed by advocate Jha, stated that at current there is no such thing as a legislation or autonomous physique governing, monitoring and managing such digital contents and it’s made out there to the general public at massive with none filter or screening.

The PIL stated that not one of the OTT/streaming platforms together with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation offered by the knowledge and broadcasting ministry since February 2020.

There are over 40 such platforms offering paid, ad-inclusive, and free content material to roughly 130 crore individuals throughout India, the petitioners stated.

The petitions stated their intention is to guard the constitutional proper to life, by stopping these platforms from abusing their freedom of expression.

The plea requested the establishing of a board headed by a secretary-level IAS officer, with members from different fields together with film, cinematographic, media, defence forces, authorized, and training.

The plea acknowledged, “With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime quickly within the nation, OTT/Streaming and totally different digital media platforms have absolutely given a approach out for filmmakers and artists to launch their content material with out being concerned about getting clearance certificates for his or her movies and collection from the censor board.”

In a separate case, the Centre had earlier instructed the apex courtroom that there’s a want to control digital media and that the courtroom could first appoint a committee of individuals as amicus earlier than laying down tips with respect to the regulation of hate speech in media. 

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