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Bombay HC Issues Notice to I&B Ministry After PIL Demands Censorship of Online Shows

A Division Bench of Justices BP Dharmadhikari and MG Giradkar was hearing the PIL by advocate Divya Gontia on Friday against web series 'GandiBaat', which airs on ALTBalaji, along with other popular web series like Sacred Games on Netflix.

Chaitanya Mangure | CNN-News18

Updated:October 7, 2018, 3:07 PM IST
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Bombay HC Issues Notice to I&B Ministry After PIL Demands Censorship of Online Shows
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court that seeks to impose content regulations on certain “obscene and vulgar” shows being aired on online portals.

A Division Bench of Justices BP Dharmadhikari and MG Giradkar was hearing the PIL by advocate Divya Gontia on Friday against web series 'GandiBaat', which airs on ALTBalaji, along with other popular web series like Sacred Games on Netflix.

The plea said that Sacred Games uses highly vulgar language in its bid to depict the dark realities of the underworld. It also stated that the show contains certain sexually explicit scenes that are indecent beyond permissible limits. The plea further alleges that Netflix gives such content more importance than the original narrative in an attempt to overtake its competitor Amazon Prime Video.

The PIL seeks immediate action against all web service providers for broadcasting programs containing such “obscene, nude and vulgar scenes” which are cognizable offences under the Cinematograph Act, Indian Penal Code, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act and Information Technology Act.

It has also requested the court to direct the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to set a pre-screening Committee that checks shows and movies before they are streamed or uploaded on the internet.

The PIL wants that immediate action should be taken for striking off all ‘obscene’ scenes and offensive dialogues, in order to prevent children from consuming adult shows online and to take measures to ensure parental control. It further seeks the curtailment of advertising such content on online platforms and social media platforms as well.

The Court has issued notices 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.
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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