New Delhi [India], February 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to apprise it on what government proposes to do to regulate Over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde asked the Central government to file an affidavit on what it is planning to do after the government said it’s working on the matter.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that government has not finalised the steps to be taken in regulating the OTT platforms but it’s contemplating.
To this, the Chief Justice said, “We cannot accept mere contemplates. Everybody in the world is contemplating. File affidavit on what you are doing.”
At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also appearing for Centre told the Bench that “the issue is being taken seriously and something is already underway.”
After hearing Solicitor General’s submission Bench suggested that petitioners file a representation before the government and give their suggestions, however, later it asked the government to file an affidavit and tagged the plea along with similar plea pending before it.
The apex court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation( PIL) filed by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous body.
The plea sought a proper board/institution /association for the monitoring and management of content on different OTT/Streaming and digital media platforms.
It said that at present there is no law or autonomous body governing, monitoring and managing such digital contents and it is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening.
Earlier, the Bench had issued notices to the Central Government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) and Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI) on the
The PIL said that none of the OTT/Streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar has signed the self-regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020.
There are over 40 such platforms providing paid, ad-inclusive, and free content to approximately 130 crore people across India, the petitioners said.
The petition said their aim is to protect the constitutional right to life, by preventing these platforms from abusing their freedom of expression.
The plea requested the setting up of a board headed by a secretary-level IAS officer, with members from varied fields including movie, cinematographic, media, defence forces, legal and education.
The plea stated, “With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board.”
In a separate case, the Centre had earlier told the apex court that there is a need to regulate digital media and that the court may first appoint a committee of persons as amicus before laying down guidelines with respect to the regulation of hate speech in media. (ANI)
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World Wildlife Day: We should ensure protection of forests, safe habitats for animals, says PM Modi
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid emphasis on the protection of forests and safe habitats for animals and also extended gratitude to those working towards wildlife protection.
Taking to Twitter, he highlighted that India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals.
“On #WorldWildlifeDay, I salute all those working towards wildlife protection. Be it lions, tigers and leopards, India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals. We should do everything possible to ensure protection of our forests and safe habitats for animals,” PM Modi tweeted.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Narendra Modi government is working on the reintroduction of Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952.
“India has thriving wildlife and biodiversity. 70 per cent of Global Tiger population. 70 per cent of Asiatic Lions. 60 per cent of Leopard population. The Narendra Modi govt is working on reintroduction of Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952….this Big Cat will be a reality soon. #WorldWildlifeDay,” he said. (ANI)
MCD By-poll results: AAP leading in four wards, Congress in one
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The counting of votes for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) by-polls began on Wednesday morning and as per early trends, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates are leading in four wards — Shalimar Bagh North, Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri and Rohini- C. The Congress candidate is leading in Chauhan Bangar.
As per the trends at 9:45 am, AAP is leading by 6,227 votes in Kalyanpuri ward (after 7 rounds), by 3,791 votes in Trilokpuri ward (after 6 rounds), by 1,759 votes in Shalimar Bagh North ward (after 6 rounds) and by 2,157 votes in Rohini C ward (after 8 rounds)
Congress is leading by 8,323 votes in Chauhan Bangar ward after 7 rounds of counting.
The Counting of votes is underway amid heavy security provided by Delhi police at the counting centers.
In the first election in the national capital held during the COVID-19 pandemic, around 50.86 per cent voter turnout was registered during the MCD by-polls in five wards on Sunday.
The MCD by-polls were held in five wards -Ward No 32N, (Rohini-C), Ward No 62N, (Shalimar Bagh North) in North Delhi and Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri), Ward No 08-E (Kalyanpuri) and Ward No 41-E (Chauhan Bangar) in East Delhi.
Polling was conducted at 327 polling stations while adhering to COVID-19 protocols and 26 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, AAP and other parties were in the fray. (ANI)
Police conduct simultaneous raids at various jails in Bihar
Patna (Bihar) [India], March 3 (ANI): Bihar Police conducted simultaneous raids at various jails across the state in the presence of local administration, police sources said on Wednesday.
During the raid at Chhapra jail, police recovered three mobile phones, three SIM cards and packets of tobacco.
“No objectionable items were, however, found inside the jail premises. The raids were part of the routine investigation to find out about illegal activities inside the jail premise,” said Chhapra SP Santosh Kumar.
“We started raid at around 5:30 am in the morning and it was conducted for three hours in every ward of the jail,” the Chhapra SP added.
Further details are awaited. (ANI)
Haryana Governor approves bill to reserve 75 pc jobs in private sector for locals
Faridabad (Haryana) [India], March 3 (ANI): Haryana Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya has approved a bill that would provide 75 per cent reservation in the private sector jobs for the people of the state, said Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Tuesday.
“The Haryana Governor has approved a bill that reserves 75 per cent of the private sector jobs for locals. This is the day of great happiness for the youth of the state. The youths of the state now will get 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs, they will get reservation in every company, society and trust,” he told reporters here.
The Haryana State Employment Of Local Candidates Bill, 2020, which was passed by the state assembly last year, will provide a quota for local people in private sector jobs that offer a monthly salary of less than Rs 50,000.
Chautala said the BJP-Jannayak Janata Party government is committed to provide job opportunities to the youth of the state and it would leave no stone unturned to ensure job to every youth of Haryana.” (ANI)
Amid attacks from G-23 leaders, Rahul Gandhi says he was attacked by his party people
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Amid attacks from the group of 23 dissenting Congress leaders, former party chief Rahul Gandhi said that he was criticised by his own party leaders after he pushed for Youth Congress and NSUI elections.
Responding to a question about Congress’ internal democracy, Gandhi, who was attending a webinar organised by US University Cornell through video conference, said he was the “first-person” to say that democratic election within the party is absolutely critical.
“I am the person who pushed elections in youth organisation and student organisation and got a serious beating in the press for that. I was literally crucified for doing elections. I was attacked by my own party people. I am the first person that says democratic election within the party is absolutely critical but it is interesting to me that this question is not asked about any other political party,” he said.
“I am the first person that says democratic election within the party is absolutely critical but it is interesting to me that this question is not asked about any other political party. Nobody asked why is there no internal democracy in BJP, BSP, and Samajwadi Party,” he added.
The Wayanad MP said Congress’ ideology is the ideology of the Constitution so it more important for the party to be democratic.
“But they ask about Congress because there is a reason. We are an ideological party and our ideology is the ideology of the Constitution, so it is more important for us to be democratic,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi’s remarks come in the backdrop of a recent rally in Jammu of Congress leaders, including the G-23 or the 23 senior dissenting leaders, who had last year questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi and demanded reforms in the organisation. They also demanded internal elections in Congress.
Dissenting leaders including Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma have stated that the Congress party is “getting weaker” and they are raising their voice for the betterment of the party. (ANI)
BJP leaders to hold meeting over West Bengal Assembly election today
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The core committee of BJP’s West Bengal unit will hold a meeting here in the national capital in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda on Wednesday.
The committee will discuss election strategy and will also discuss probable candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls of West Bengal. BJP MP Mukul Roy, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, party’s West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya and other top BJP leaders are likely to attend the crucial meeting.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh had on Tuesday said that the core committee of the party will soon declare names of the candidates for the first and second phase of elections in West Bengal.
“Core Committee discussed candidates for the first and second phase of the election here in West Bengal. It will soon name declare the names,” said Ghosh while speaking to ANI.
A meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) of BJP will also be held on Thursday at the party headquarter in Delhi which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, party chief JP Nadda, party leader BL Santosh and others. CEC will clear the name of the candidates for polls and will also release the list of the candidates.
Ahead of Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 20 rallies in poll-bound West Bengal, responding to the huge demand of local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders of these two states. According to sources, the rallies are planned in such a way that all the 23 districts of West Bengal will be covered in these rallies.
BJP functionaries including Kailash Vijayvargiya, national General Secretary, Mukul Roy, national Vice-President, Sanjay Singh, General Secretary and Swapan Dasgupta, MP, Rajya Sabha are looking into the preparations at Brigade Parade Ground, where PM Modi will address a public meeting on March 7 at Brigade Ground, Kolkata. This will be PM Modi’s first rally in West Bengal post the announcement of election dates by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.
In the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats.
The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank.
After BJP’s performance in the 2019 polls, several TMC leaders have joined the party led by JP Nadda. (ANI)
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