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Himachal Pradesh HC notice to Centre over OTT content

The High Court has issued notices to the Centre, state government and the Central Board of Film Certification on a petition seeking directions to frame guidelines prohibiting the practice of insulting great leaders, freedom fighters and national heroes on social media and to regulate the content being available on Over-The-Top (OTT) platform.

Issuing notices, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua sought their responses within three weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on March 24.

The court passed these orders on a petition filed by advocate Bhupinder Sharma, who has alleged that on the OTT platform “Limelight”, a trailer of the movie “Why I killed Gandhi” was released and it shows that the movie attempts to tarnish the image of the Father of the Nation and at the same time glorifies Nathuram Godse for killing Mahatma Gandhi.

It is alleged in the petition that from the title of the movie, it is evident that this is a mischievous attempt by a few fundamentalists to justify the killing of the Father of the Nation. He has alleged that Godse has been presented as a hero and saviour.

The petitioner has alleged that the movie violates the guidelines issued by the Centre for regulating films of the public exhibition under the Cinematographs Act, 1952. The petitioner has prayed to direct the respondents to frame guidelines for prohibiting the practice of insulting the great leaders, freedom fighters, national heroes in contravention to the constitutional provisions.

He has prayed to direct the respondent to remove all content of the film from all online platforms and prohibit any further broadcast of the film.

The petitioner has also prayed to direct the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to bring in force such regulations or guidelines to effectively regulate the content being shown on the OTT platform. The Tribune

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