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I&B Ministry to seek transfer of OTT cases to Supreme Court

After bringing OTT platforms under the ambit of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry, the government is planning to file a plea that seeks to bring all the court cases in India against OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar to the Supreme Court.

The government had already informed the Punjab and Haryana high court about its move.

The government had announced that all digital media platforms, including news media and online curated content providers (OCCPs), would fall under the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry, many fear that this could spell doom for India’s high-flying video OTT space.

Around 23 cases related to OTT content are being heard in different courts of the country, and it will be better if the SC hears them all, ministry officials told ET.

“Our position remains the same in all cases… And if the Supreme Court gives its verdict, the other courts will have to comply,” the official said adding that the decision to file a petition for the transfer of cases to the apex court was taken before the OTTs were brought under the MIB’s purview earlier this month.

The Supreme Court had last month sought the Centre’s response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for regulating OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video by an autonomous body.

The PIL stated that digital content on these platforms is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening.

A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian had issued notices to the central government, I&B Ministry and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

None of the OTT/streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by the I&B ministry since February 2020, the plea had alleged. ZoomNews

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