Delhi High Court grants MeitY time to detail content regulation steps on social media and OTT platforms
The Delhi High Court granted time to the Center to brief it on the steps taken to regulate content on social media and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
The high court had previously ordered the Union Department of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to take action for stricter enforcement of its rules on intermediaries as set out in the Technology Rules Information (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media), 2021 and make such laws or rules as it deems appropriate.
“Monika Arora, Permanent Union Solicitor of India, present in court, is requested to accept the notice on behalf of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, being the ministries of the Government of India concerned with the issue in question. She is requesting time to file a response,” Judge Swarna Kanta Sharma said in an order on April 12.
The court scheduled the case for a rehearing on April 25.
The High Court was dealing with a case in which it said the development of rules and guidelines to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms needed urgent attention.
The court had stressed the need to take seriously the use of vulgar language in the public domain and on social media platforms open to young children.
Returning heavily to the language used in the TVF web series ‘College Romance’, the High Court said the use of obscenities in the form of foul language degrades women so that they may feel victimized because swearing and obscenities refer to women being objects of sex.
The High Court’s March 6 verdict came as it upheld an order by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) for Delhi Police to register an FIR against TVF, show maker Simarpreet Singh and actor Apoorva Arora under the Information Technology Act.
He clarified that the instruction to register the FIR did not include the instruction to arrest any of the accused or petitioners.
The tribunal had said that the challenge facing India, like many other countries, to enact proper law, guidelines and rules to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms needed urgent attention.
After watching a few episodes of the series, the court found excessive use of ‘swear words’, ‘profane language’ and ‘vulgar swearing’ and the judge had to watch the episodes using headphones in the bedroom, for the coarseness of the language was such that it could not have been heard without shocking or alarming the people around.
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