Law Clerk From Bombay HC Files PIL Seeking Regulation Of Online Content, Cites ‘Sacred Games’; HC Issues Notice [Read Order]

Law Clerk From Bombay HC Files PIL Seeking Regulation Of Online Content, Cites ‘Sacred Games’; HC Issues Notice [Read Order]

The Bombay High Court has issued notice to various ministries under the Union of India in a PIL filed by a law clerk-cum-legal research assistant working at Nagpur bench of the high court.

A division bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice MG Giratkar heard S Dewani, petitioner Divya Gontia’s lawyer, and issued a notice to Assistant Solicitor General of India UM Aurangabadkar, who appears on behalf of the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of Law and Justice, Home Ministry and the Ministry of I&B.

The PIL sought action against all web streaming platforms like NetFlix for exhibiting programs containing nude content and vulgar language which is in violation of the Cinematograph Act, Indian Penal Code, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and Information Technology Act, 2000.

The petitioner has also sought directions to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, for setting up a pre-screening committee before these shows are streamed online.

“The contents of the aforesaid Serial “Sacred Games”, which has gained popularity among the masses, it was observed by the Petitioner that highly vulgar language has been used to depict the underworld environment and the dark side of the society besides there being certain sexually unpleasant and indecent scenes, which are beyond the permissible limits. It is submitted that, more importance is given to nudity, obscenity and vulgarity than the original plot of the story just to fetch the attention of youth,” the petition said.

Apart from Sacred Games, the petition has given examples of Gandi Baat that was released on ALT Balaji, Dev DD, Ragini MMS 2 etc. It states that such explicit content would never be allowed to be screened in movie theaters, however, due to the fact that these online platforms are not regulated, people have access to them.

The petitioner has also given the examples of North Korea and China to elucidate that the public needs to have free access to all kinds of online content, but that some regulation will be in the interest of the society.

The court has made notice returnable on October 31.

Read the Order Here