Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Constitution Of Regulatory Authority To Review Non-Film Songs & Its Contents
The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea seeking directions to constitute a Regulatory Authority/censor board to censor/review the non-film songs, their lyrics and videos.
The Court observed that it cannot mandate a statute or add provisions to a Statute as it would amount to legislation which is not permissible.
“Directing for appointment of a regulatory authority would result in legislation by this Court which is not permissible.”, the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed.
The petitioner had approached the High Court seeking directions for constitution of a body to screen every non-film song and its contents, including lyrics and video, before they are released on the internet.
The petitioner had also sought directions to ban all such non-film songs available on the internet having obscene/vulgar content with immediate effect.
Advocate Neha Kapoor appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocates Shiva Lakshmi and Srishti Rawat appeared for Respondents.
The Court observed that the Central Government has brought out the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The Court pointed out that the guidelines therein regulate the nature of content that should not be hosted by social media platforms. The Court also noted that these guidelines read with the IT Act also provides for offences in case of violation of the Ethics Code.
Thus the Court held that the grievance of the Petitioner that there is no Regulatory Authority/censor board to censor/review the non-film songs, their lyrics and videos which are made available to the general public through various media platforms like Television, YouTube, etc. has been taken care of by the Ethics Code.
“…there is a clear regulation/regime that has been laid down by the Central Government to regulate the information/content which is available to the general public through various media platforms.”, the Court noted further.
The Court also emphasized that “The concept of separation of powers between legislature, judiciary and executive has been laid down in various judgments by the Apex Court. Courts cannot mandate a statute or add provisions to a Statute as it would amount to legislation which is not permissible in the constitutional scheme of this country.”
Thus the Court noted that setting up of tribunals, authorities, regulators come purely within the domain of legislature and not in the domain of Courts.
The Court noted that there is no merit in the petition.
Accordingly the Court dismissed the petition.
Cause Title- Neha Kapoor & Anr. v. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting & Anr.