SC to hear PIL on setting up a Central Board to regulate & monitor OTT content
A PIL filed by Shashank Shekhar Jha, seeking the setting up of an independent body for regulating content on video streaming platforms, will be heard by the Supreme Court.
As per a report appearing in Bar And Bench website, the PIL suggests setting up of ‘Central Board for Regulation and Monitoring of Online Video Contents’, which could be headed by an IAS officer, with experts from different fields as its members.
It may be recalled that in March 2020, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had asked OTT players to set up an adjudicatory body and finalise code of conduct. While speaking to Times Now's Navika Kumar on her programme ‘Frankly Speaking’ recently, Javadekar had said that he received hundreds of complaints daily about OTT platforms showing some objectionable programs. “Need to figure these out soon,” he had said.
With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the PIL, there could be some steps seen towards establishing a regulatory mechanism for OTT platforms. However, whether the hearing will arrive at some definitive result can’t be said at this point, as even the apex Court while issuing the notice observed, “We don’t know if this is possible, but we are issuing notice”, the Bar And Bench report said.
The PIL further states that the proposed Central Board for Regulation and Monitoring of Online Video Contents will monitor and filter the contents and regulate the videos on various platforms for viewers in India.
TRAI keeps OTT out of regulatory intervention, for now; COAI expresses dismay
Meanwhile, issuing its recommendations on ‘Regulatory Framework for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communication Services’ last month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had stated, “It is not an opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework for various aspects of OTT services beyond the extant laws and regulations prescribed presently.” TRAI also said, “No regulatory interventions are required in respect of issues related with Privacy and security of OTT services at the moment.”