Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot Should Be Regulated? Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre

OTTs should be regulated in India?
OTTs should be regulated in India?

In a fresh threat to OTT players in India, the apex court has issued a notice to the Centre, asking whether regulation should come into place or not.

In case Centre responds positively, then the Supreme Court can order regulation of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other OTTs operating in India.

And this can change everything about the on-demand entertainment sector in the country.

Why is this happening?

Supreme Court To Centre: Should OTTs Be Regulated?

Justice for Rights Foundation (JRF) has not accepted defeat. After Delhi High Court dismissed their plea to regulate OTTs in India, JRF has now approached the Supreme Court.

They have filed a new petition, seeking regulation of OTTs or Over The Top apps which are providing on-demand entertainment via their platform.

Responding to the petition, the bench has sent a notice to the Govt. asking if this petition holds merit or not.

Why OTTs Should Be Regulated?

In this new petition, they have included the angle of DTH, Cable companies, and consumers. As per the petition, OTTs are discriminating against the cable and DTH firms, and the customers.

We couldn’t find the logic behind this point, but this has been mentioned in the petition filed.

Besides this, the same old logic of inappropriate, vulgar content being shown via these OTTs have been highlighted in the petition. As per JRF, the content shown can incite riots, and can spoil the audience as adult content is being shown, without any censorship.

JRF founder Satyam Singh Rajput 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,”

JRF is being represented by advocate Harpreet Singh Hora.

Delhi High Court Had Dismissed The Petition To Ban OTTs

In February this year, Delhi High Court had dismissed the petition filed by JRF, to regulate OTTs in India. Hence, this new petition filed at the Supreme Court challenges Delhi High Court’s verdict.

The Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao from Delhi High Court had said that the Govt. has no provision right now, which empowers them to regulate or ban any online streaming content. This was stated to the High Court by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Besides, leading OTTs such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar have pledged to self-regulate their content, which somehow influenced the Delhi High Court decision to quash the petition by JRF.

But now, this same case is in Supreme Court, and Centre has been again asked to respond.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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