Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking regulation of content on online streaming platforms

Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking regulation of content on online streaming platforms

Aditi Singh

The order was passed by a two-Judge Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao, after it was informed by Central Government that the online platforms were neither required to obtain a license from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, nor was its content regulated by it.

The Ministry of Law and Justice also informed that the subject matter was outside its domain.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology further clarified that the content on internet was subject to regulation only to the extent of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2002. However, online platforms did not fall in under the scope of the section.

It, however, stated that while online platforms, which do not curate their content completely, are expected to follow the Rules made under the Act, and the ones which do completely curate their content need to ensure compliance of Sections 66E, 67 and 67B of the Act.

In October last year,  the NGO, Justice for Rights Foundation had moved the High Court through Advocate HS Hora to restrict the “unregulated, uncertified, sexually explicit, vulgar, profane and legally restricted content” broadcasted on the online platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc

The High Court had, without issuing notice, directed the Centre to clarify there were any existing guidelines or licensing policies for regulation of content available on such online streaming websites.

While dismissing the plea, the Court observed that since the law did not require such platforms to acquire a licence, it cannot direct them to get one.

It, thus, directed the petitioner to pursue the FIR that it had filed on the issue instead.

Read the order:

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news