Supreme Court takes up plea wanting control and censorship of digital OTT platforms

New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court has decided to take up a petition which suggest the setting up of a proper board, institution or association to properly monitor content in OTT digital media platforms and apply censorship if needed. The court has issued necessary notices in this regard.

The bench of Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian was hearing the petition filed by Shashank Shekhar Jha. Jha has submitted that with cinemas and theaters unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have provided a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without worrying about getting clearance certificates from the censor board.

He says:

“No censoring allows exploitation of creative liberty and pushes for more ideas to get incorporated which in turn lets writers, directors, and producers to experiment limitlessly, due to which there have been more violence, sex scenes, obscene languages and even characters smoking on screen – that would normally be cut or displayed alongside health warnings.”

Referring to the movies based on defence forces, the petitioner has submitted that the absence of a no objection certificate from the Ministry of Defence for producing such could pose a threat to the integrity of India.

Further it has been submitted that

“the OTT platforms have became a hub of Hinduphobic shows by disrespecting Hindus, its customs, rituals and other things which form the majority of the nation”

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The petitioner has thus sought for a direction to constitute an autonomous body namely Central Board for Regulation and Monitoring of Online Video Contents (Hereinafter referred to as “CBRMOVC”) to monitor and filter the contents and regulate the videos on various platforms for viewers in India.

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