A petition in the form of Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions on Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for constituting a regulatory authority/ censor board to review or grant certification to non Film songs, their lyrics and music videos.
The petition also seeks directions on Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to regulate the non Film contents, including both lyrics and videos thereby ensuring that they are screened before their release on various internet platforms.
The petition filed through Advocate Rishu Singh states that the public motive of the petition concerns from the fact that such non-films songs, which have in them, the language of demeaning women and promoting consumption of liquor/ drugs etc.
"The present petition is being filed for the benefit of the society as a whole and especially the youth of the nation which includes kids of tender age and the teenagers as such lyrics . of the non-film songs in question have adverse effects on children of impressionable age whose thinking can be influenced by being exposed to such non-film songs/videos." The petition reads.
The petition also contends that the provisions of Cinematograph Act, 1952 are restricted in their application only to regulate the contents of films and song. However, it has been submitted that the same do not apply to the non-film songs and their lyrics/ videos released by individual artists.
Submitting that there is no authority in place like Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), to regulate non-film songs which are directly uploaded on the internet or streamed through different applications, the petition seeks that there is an immediate requirement of a regulatory authority or censor board to censor or review such content.
The petition reads thus:
"Because these non-film songs appear to instigate people to misbehave with women, objectifying them and promote drug/ alcohol abuse apart from other crimes which is clearly evident from their lyrics and the same will have a impact on the society at large and especially the youth as they are exposed to it and are most vulnerable to the same in their tender age of learning."
"Because the provisions of Section 294 IPC, those provided in the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition Act) of 1986, Section 67 of Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 despite providing punishment for promoting or exhibiting obscene content are barely being invoked and are not serving as a deterrent in posting obscene/vulgar content in non-film songs on the internet in the absence of a regulatory body." The petition states.
The petition seeks the following prayer:
1.Allow the present petition and direct the respondent no. 1 to constitute a regulatory authority of censor board to censor/ review the non-film songs, their lyrics and videos which are made available to the general public through various media platforms like Television, YouTube, etc. and make it mandatory for composers of non-film songs to receive certification before such songs are made ·available in public domain.
2. Direct the respondent no. 2 to constitute a body to screen every non-film song and its contents including lyrics and video before they are released on internet through any platform/ application.
3. Direct the respondent no. 2 to screen and ban all such non-film songs available on the internet having obscene/vulgar content with immediate effect.