Facebook, Instagram say they have nothing to do with case against OTT platform

Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday told the Madras High Court that they had nothing to do with a public interest litigation petition for censoring content telecasted on Over the Top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Disney Hotstar, MX Player, Voot, Sony Liv and Zee5.

Appearing before a Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha, senior counsel Arvind P. Dattar requested the judges to remove Facebook and Instagram from the list of respondents since they could not be equated with the OTT platforms.

The senior counsel told the judge that his clients would fall under the definition of ‘intermediaries’ under the Information Technology Act of 2000 and were completely governed by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules framed by the Centre.

The submissions were made during the hearing of the PIL petition filed by K. Suthan, a lawyer who wanted content telecasted on OTT platforms as well as those uploaded on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to be censored.

Since some of the advocates entered appearance on behalf of Netflix and other OTT platforms, the judges decided to hear the case in detail on October 14 after service of notices to all respondents and completion of pleadings before the court.

They also told Mr. Dattar that Facebook and Instagram could remain as parties to the case and that the court would hear them if necessary.

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