High Court (India)

March 06, 2019

PIL to regulate Netflix, Amazon Prime Video content dismissed by Delhi HC


A plea seeking framing of guidelines by the government to regulate the functioning of online media streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video was dismissed by the Delhi HC Friday.

The petition was rejected by a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao after it was informed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that online platforms are not required to obtain any licence from the ministry.

The content on online platforms was not regulated by the Ministry, said central government standing counsel Vikram Jetly.

The court was seeking the government’s response to the petition filed by NGO, Justice for Rights Foundation, claiming that online media streaming platforms were showing "uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar" content.

The NGO alleged that online media streaming platforms including Hotstar were showing content that was “unregulated and uncertified” for public viewing.

The NGO claimed that television series such as Sacred Games, Game of Thrones and Spartacus shown on platforms like Netflix contained “vulgar, profane, sexually explicit, pornographic, morally unethical and virulent" content which often "depicted women in an objectifying manner".

The plea sought framing of guidelines to regulate such platforms and the content broadcast by them.

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