The Centre has assured the Delhi High Court that its policy governing social media platforms and intermediaries will incorporate necessary rules and regulations to ensure the space occupied by them is free from vulgar language and profanities.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in an affidavit showing compliance of the high court’s earlier directions, said it has taken note of the concerns expressed by the high court in its earlier orders.
The high court had earlier said framing rules and guidelines to regulate the content on social media and OTT platforms need urgent attention.
It had underlined the need for taking seriously the use of vulgar language in public domain and on social media platforms which are open to children of tender age.
“It is stated that it is a policy decision and having taken note of the concerns of this court expressed through its directions, the concerned Ministry (MeitY), while undertaking its regular exercise of policy making, will incorporate rules/regulations to regulate the social media platforms, intermediaries for making it safer from the use of vulgar language including profanity, bad words, etc., as per the judgment of this court,” Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma said in an order on August 17.
Considering the submission of the ministry, the high court disposed of the matter, saying it is a sufficient compliance of its previous orders.
“This court takes note of the fact that it is a policy decision which is to be undertaken by the Ministry and the legislature, it is sufficient compliance of the order of this court. This court has been assured that the concerns of this court expressed through the said judgment will be incorporated in the future rules and regulations which will be shortly undertaken,” the high court said.
Coming down heavily on the language used in TVF web series College Romance’, the high court had said the use of obscenities in the form of foul language degrades women so they may feel victims as the expletives and obscenities refer to women being objects of sex.
The high court’s March 6 verdict had come while upholding an order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) asking the Delhi Police to register an FIR against TVF, the show’s director Simarpreet Singh, and actor Apoorva Arora under the Information Technology Act.
It had clarified that the direction to register FIR does not include a direction to arrest any of the accused or petitioner.
The court had said the challenge faced by India, as by many other countries, for enacting appropriate law, guidelines and rules to regulate the content on social media and OTT platforms needs urgent attention.
After watching a few episodes of the series, the court had found excessive use of swear words’, profane language’ and vulgar expletives’. The judge had said she had to watch the episodes with the aid of earphones in the chamber, as the profanity of language was such that it could not have been heard without shocking or alarming the people around.