The Delhi High Court has recently ordered a check on vulgar language and inappropriate content on OTT platforms and social media, off the back of TVF’s famous web series, “College Romance.”
The initiative to regulate the use of “obscene language” in OTT shows and social media platforms was taken by Delhi HC because the curse words are demeaning to a woman’s dignity and portray them as objects of sex.
Controversy Over The Webseries
While watching the series “College Romance,” the high court judge, Swarana Kanta Sharma, claimed that he had to use his earphones because of the immoderate use of bawdy language and obscene cuss words.
The court said that such contents disrupt cultural and social decorum and cannot be watched with family or among common people. Taking TVF’s web series “College Romance” into consideration, the Delhi High Court ordered the framing of stricter rules against the use of sexually explicit language in social media, movies, and OTT releases.
Justice Kanta Sharma’s Statement
In a 41-page adjudication, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma stated, “This court is of the opinion that use of vulgar language including profanity and bad words in public domain and in social media platforms which are open to children of tender age needs to be taken seriously.
The use of obscene words and foul language in social media platforms have to be regulated when it crosses a particular line, as it can be a true threat to impressionable minds and cannot receive constitutional protection of free speech.”
He also said that strict actions will be taken against students, employees, and others for using foul language and expletives in schools, universities, or workplaces. Authorities are required to monitor “profanity which enters into the domain of indecent speech by a broadcast medium.”
High Court’s Verdict
The court further claimed, “This court draws the attention of the Ministry of Information and Technology to the situations which are fast emerging on a daily basis and to take steps for enforcing stricter application of its rules qua the intermediaries as notified in Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and make any laws or rules as deemed appropriate in its wisdom, in light of the observations made in this judgment.”
It added, “Most certainly, this court notes that this is not the language that nation’s youth or otherwise citizens of this country use, and this language cannot be called the frequently spoken language used in our country.”
It also said, “However, when the content is shown through social media, the sheer enormous power of electronic media and its reach to people of all ages will certainly invite attention of the court, law enforcement, and law-making authorities to regulate it.
One cannot lean in favour of unrestricted, unfettered freedom of profane, indecent, and obscene speech and expression by way of web series without classification of the same.”
The Youth Is The Nation’s Asset
As social media and OTT platforms are available at everyone’s fingertips, profane language and obscene content shown in web series and movies may affect the minds of young children. The youth are India’s prized possession as they are the future of the nation.
With reference to TVF’s “College Romance,” the court said that a web series that corrupts the frame of one’s mind will not be given the license to air on televisions and OTT platforms.
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