Delhi HC rejects plea seeking guidelines to regulate online content 

The verdict was mainly based on positive submissions by the MIB and MEITY, says Internet Freedom Foundation

Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Justice for Rights Foundation seeking separate guidelines to regulate content on online streaming platforms. 

In a report by the Internet Freedom Foundation, the PIL included web-based shows like ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ for vulgarity, pornography and abusive language. 

The division bench of the Delhi High Court consisting of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao delivered the verdict on the PIL dismissing the petition, the report said. The verdict was mainly based on positive submissions by the MIB and MEITY.

The Internet Freedom Foundation says the High Court verdict is an affirmation that “while there is no separate provision for regulating online content, the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 were not only merely applicable but an adequately armed with Section 69 to block illegal content”. 

“While we are concerned with some of them, this is an incremental victory. It prevents a heavy, licensing style system from emerging in the video streaming space which would threaten our viewing choices online,” the foundation says. 

The MIB and MEITY have pointed out that there is no need for further guidelines when sufficiently stringent provisions are already in existence, the report said. The court has said that if the petitioner continues to consider content provided on certain platforms prohibitory, it should take it up with the relevant authority. 

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