The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it was contemplating to take some action on the issue of regulating OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. A petitioner approached the court seeking OTT regulation by an autonomous body. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was initially of the view that the petitioner should approach the government for remedy but later asked the government to file its response within six weeks.
Reportedly, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said that Centre was contemplating some action on the issue of regulating OTT platforms. The CJI sought to know from Jain what the action would be and asked him to file a response in six weeks while tagging the matter with the pending petition.
The plea by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia said that with cinema theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for film makers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board.
At present, however, there is no law or autonomous body governing the digital content to monitor and manage these digital contents and it is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening. Lack of legislation governing OTT/Streaming Platforms is becoming evident with each passing day and every new case that is filed on these grounds. The government is facing heat to fill this lacuna with regulations from the public and the Judiciary; still the relevant government departments have not done anything significant to regularise these OTT/Streaming Platforms, the plea further said.
The petition also claimed that one of the streaming platforms have signed the self regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020.