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OTT regulation: SC stays all petitions in high courts

The top court will hear the matter in the second week after Holi.

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KOLKATA: The Supreme Court has stayed all proceedings dealing with petitions filed on the matter of content regulation on OTT platforms. The court will hear the matter in two weeks after Holi. 

A bench headed by justice DY Chandrachud passed the order while hearing a plea by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, appearing for Justice for Rights Foundation, that has sought the establishment of an autonomous body for monitoring of content on online video streaming services.

Earlier, the central government filed a petition seeking transfer of OTT related petitions pending before various high courts to the Supreme Court. The apex court had issued a notice in this regard. However, the Punjab and Haryana high court continued hearing the case on merits, solicitor general Tushar Mehta submitted.

Now, the court has clearly mentioned that all the proceedings of such petitions in lower courts across India would be stayed for now.

Meanwhile, the government has informed apex court in an affidavit that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were framed upon receiving several complaints from the public as well as lawmakers regarding content streaming OTT platforms.

The affidavit also mentioned that digital or online media, films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers, news and current affairs content on online platforms have been brought under the purview of the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) last year.

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