Centre’s guidelines for social media, OTT platforms have ‘no teeth’: SC

New Delhi, Mar05: Holding that the guidelines framed by Centre to prevent misuse of social media and OTT platforms will not be effective, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider framing of some stringent law and regulation.
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.
The 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 meanwhile, granted anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime India head Aparna Purohit who is apprehending arrest in the case lodged against her in Tandav controversy.
Purohit had approached the Supreme Court 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. The Supreme Court on Thursday had backed the push for “screening” of content being telecast on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime as some of the shows contained “pornography” and directed that the Centre’s recently-framed rules to regulate social media and OTT platform be placed before it.
Under the new rules, OTT platforms and digital media will be required to disclose information about where they publish, the nature of the contents they share as well as their subscriber data. They will also be required to set up a grievance redress mechanism. For regulation of OTT platforms, the government mandated that a self-regulation body, headed by a retired judge or an eminent person, should be set up, besides “age-gating” of the content.

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