The Centre has been asked by the Delhi High Court to examine the allegation that objectionable content, including soft pornography, was being made available for download from hotstar.com website, run by a subsidiary of Star India Pvt Ltd, and take appropriate action. Also Read - Internet turns 25 in India: Here's how the next 25 years may look likeAlso Read - TikTok beats WhatsApp and Facebook in usage in rural India: Report
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to Star India and its subsidiary, Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, seeking their reply to a plea alleging that they were operating an illegal Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) distribution platform without following the uplinking and downlinking guidelines.
Besides the two companies, the court also sought response of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Communication and IT for allegedly not regulating content provided on the IPTV platform website hotstar.com. The court directed the ministries to “look into the issue and, in case, the content, being made available through the website hotstar.com is objectionable or prohibited, appropriate action shall be taken by them in accordance with law”.
The court’s direction came on a plea by Un-Canned Media Pvt Ltd, alleging that the two companies in connivance with each other, have been operating an illegal distribution platform, by illegally providing content through their hotstar IPTV platform in violation of the guidelines stipulated under the applicable laws. ALSO READ: Government setting up a new cyber-control hub to track child pornography, online trolls
It has contended that the company, which owns and operates digital properties like hotstar.com, is not being regulated by the ministries, in as much the contents being provided on the website is uncensored and uncontrolled by them. Un-canned Media claimed the objectionable content was being made available for download by the companies.
“Some instances have been pointed out whereby it is contended that even soft pornography is also being permitted to be downloaded from the services being provided by the firm on its website hotstar.com,” the court noted in its order.