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Bombay High Court Issues Notice to Centre Over PIL Seeking Content Regulation Of Web Series [Read Order]

The Bombay High Court has issued a notice to Centre over a plea seeking to regulate the content of ‘web series’ or other programs that are broadcasted directly through the internet on various streaming platforms. A notice in this regard was issued by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court.

The matter came up before a Bench of Justices B.P. Dharmadhikari and M. G. Giratkar. The notices have been issued to the I&B Ministry, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Nagpur police commissioner, seeking replies by October 31, 2018.

The PIL in this regard was filed by Divya Gontia on a web series called Gandi Baat which streams on the online platform ALTBalaji. Further, the PIL also mentions Netflix’s Sacred Games for objectionable content, including nudity and language.

The petitioner’s lawyer Shyam Dewani told PTI that, “we cited before the court various examples of uncontrolled vulgarity, obscenity in such shows and sought a direction to concerned authorities to take appropriate action against all such web service providers.”

“Broadcasting nudity or vulgar scenes is a cognizable offence under IPC, Cinematograph Act, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and the Information Technology Act, 2000,” Mr. Shyam Dewani said.

The petitioner has sought that the I&B Ministry should set up a pre-screening committee for web shows, films or other programs which are released directly on online platforms.

Earlier, Sacred Games, a web series which was released on video streaming platform Netflix ran into legal troubles after a plea was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking removal of some “offensive scenes”, alleging that some of its content was inappropriate and derogatory in nature and harmed the reputation of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.


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