For the first time, the self-regulatory body for over-the-top (OTT) content has recommended punitive action against a platform under the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, according to a report in The Indian Express.
The Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC) has objected to the content being streamed on an OTT platform called Ullu in an order issued last week. The DPCGC has ordered Ullu to take down the content within 15 days or face punitive action. The self-regulatory body is headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Justice A K Sikri.
The order was issued in response to a complaint about the obscene nature of the shows on Ullu. The complainant Satish Waghela alleged that some of the web series on Ullu were obscene and contained nudity. Waghela argued that such content was illegal under Indian law and the IT Rules, 2021.
According to the DPCGC order, Waghela had informed the platform about the issue but was not satisfied with the action taken by Ullu. The platform defended its actions and denied the allegations. Ullu argued that the viewers are responsible for their discretion when watching the content and that the platform is exercising its freedom of speech and expression, which is enshrined in the Constitution.
The grievance council reproached the platform and advised it to either remove the web series altogether or make appropriate edits to the offending scenes to ensure that they comply with the IT Rules. The report cited officials from Ullu as saying that they were holding discussions on the order internally and won’t comment on the matter.