The court also dismissed the plea which has sought removal of vulgar and sexually explicit content from online platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others.

Online video streaming OTT (over the top) platforms — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc — are not required to obtain licences from the government to run their programmes, the Central government today (February 8) told the Delhi High Court.

“Online platforms are not required to obtain any licences from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the content on online platforms is not being regulated by this Ministry,” the Centre told a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao.

The court was hearing an NGO, Justice for Rights Foundation, plea filed by advocate Harpreet S. Hora who has sought laws or guidelines for regulating vulgar and sexually explicit content available on these platforms.

The petitioner told the court that a complaint with the police has already been filed but no action has been taken. The court asked the petitioner to seek appropriate remedies on his complaint.

The court also dismissed the plea which has sought removal of vulgar and sexually explicit content from online platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others.

It is learnt that the Ministry of Law and Justice had earlier stated that they are not concerned with the matter, while MeitY has stated that it does not monitor or regulate the content on internet except for limited functions under section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000 and this case do not pertain to Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

In January, last year, nine OTT platforms – Netflix, Hotstar, Reliance Jio, Voot, ALTBalaji, Zee5, Eros Now and SonyLIV – signed a self-regulatory Code of Best Practices under the aegis of IAMAI that prohibit these video platforms from showing a certain type of content

IAMA had then said that this code has been in play for over a year and establishes guidelines for online curated content (OCC) providers and prohibits from showing content that’s banned by Indian courts, disrespect the national emblem and flag, outrages religious sentiments, promotes terrorism or violence against the state and shows children in sexual acts.

IAMA today refused to comment on the recent direction by the Delhi High Court maintaining that they have not yet gone through the judgement, at the time of publishing this report.