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SC on govt’s social media guidelines says “OTT platforms have ‘no teeth'”

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: A day after Supreme Court favours restrictions on OTT platforms saying “pornography is shown”, the apex court on Friday once again up hold that the guidelines framed by Centre to prevent misuse of social media and OTT platforms and asked the government to consider framing of some stringent law and regulation.

Also Read :- Bilkis Bano files a review petition in Supreme Court against early release of her rapists

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, after going through the recently framed rules, said that it lacked teeth to deal with the problem and it is just in form of guidelines.

Government’s guidelines on social media regulation:

The top court said that there should be some provision for prosecution for noncompliance of the rules and asked the solicitor general Tushar Mehta to consider bringing legislation to control contents of social media and OTT platforms..

Agreeing with SC suggestion, Mehta said that the government would certainly consider framing stringent law and the draft of the law would be placed before the court.

The bench, in the meantime, granted anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime India head Aparna Purohit who is apprehending arrest in the case lodged against her in webseries ‘Tandav’ controversy.

Also Read :- Chhawla rape-murder case: Delhi government to challenge SC order on release of accused

To note, Purohit had approached the SC after the high court on February 25 declined to give her protection from arrest. UP police had filed an FIR against the top Amazon Prime executive for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

On Friday, the government notified new rules for social media and OTT platforms ostensibly to provide a level playing field to media platforms cutting across print, television and digital platforms, while adding that digital platforms doing business in India would have to follow the law of the land.

Some OTT shows contain porn, screening needed: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday had favoured restrictions on over the top (OTT) platforms like like Netflix and Amazon Prime stating that there should be some screening of shows and directed that the Centre’s recently-framed rules to regulate social media and OTT platform be placed before it.

“Some regulation was needed as in some cases even pornography is being shown on such platforms and a balance has to be maintained,” The top court bench had asked the government.

Also Read :- Gujarat govt: Centre approved early release of Bilkis Bano convicts due to good behavior

Under the new rules, the OTT platforms and Digital media will be required to disclose information about where they publish, the nature of the content they share as well as the size of their subscriber data. They will also be required to set up a grievance redressal mechanism.

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