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No case for Digital Media Ethics Code violation under IT Rules 2021 has gone to Tier-III so far: Justice Sikri

He also said that the Code has been successfully implemented by all publishers of online curated content

Arjan Kumar Sikri

No case for addressing grievances regarding Digital Media Code of Ethics violations has reached Tier-III so far, said former Supreme Court Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. He also said that the Code, as set forth by the IT Rules 2021, has been successfully implemented by all publishers of online curated content.

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The former apex court judge was speaking at Pixels, a digital entertainment conference organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Justice Sikri, who is the Chairperson of IAMAI’s Grievance Redressal Board (GRB), formed as a part of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), said, “All complaints directly addressed to MIB/Inter-departmental Committee (Level III) should be pushed by the Committee to be addressed by the platform (Level-I) and then by the self-regulating body (Level-II) before being taken by Level-III. The exercise of adjudicatory powers by the executive branch of the Government, if not done judiciously will jeopardize the freedom of the digital entertainment in India.”

He further stated that the main concern of the industry is protecting intellectual rights in the digital entertainment space as well as addressing questions about data privacy.

Justice Sikri added that ultimately when the issues come to regulators or courts, it is to be examined from the prism of – democracy, dissent, and the Constitution of India which guarantees Freedom of Speech under Article 19 (1) (a). 

He also emphasized the need for an equilibrium between all the stakeholders, with minimal governmental control and maximum self-regulation to seamlessly regulate emerging sectors.

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce (I&C) Department and Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) Department, Government of Telangana, also highlighted the immense potential of the digital entertainment sector in his address.

“We are setting up a facility of 1.4 million square feet in Hyderabad called Image Tower, which would be a hub of animation and VFX. We are confident that once the Image Tower is up and running this would be the new face of Hyderabad,” Ranjan said.

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