Important Legal News | Oct 7

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TDSAT Rules OTT Platforms, like Hotstar, Are Outside TRAI’s Jurisdiction

In a noteworthy interim decision, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has ruled that over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Hotstar, are not under the purview of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

This decision, announced on October 4, marks a significant development in the regulation of digital content services in India. The TDSAT’s verdict underscores that OTT platforms operate independently, free from TRAI’s regulatory control. This ruling has potential implications for the governance and oversight of the rapidly growing OTT industry.

CIC Grants Husband Access to Wife’s Income Details via RTI for Maintenance Case

In a recent ruling, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) to provide a man with “generic details of the net taxable income/gross income” of his estranged wife, as specified in his RTI Application. The decision, based on a precedent involving a wife’s request for her husband’s income details, allows the husband to use this information as evidence in an ongoing maintenance case.

The CPIO had initially denied the request under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, but the CIC ruled in favor of disclosure. This decision aligns with previous judgments emphasising the right of partners to know each other’s income in such cases.

Ex-High Court Registrar and Two Others Convicted in Shocking Rape and Conversion Case

A CBI court in Ranchi has handed down convictions to three individuals, including a former High Court Registrar, for their involvement in a disturbing case of attempted religious conversion and rape. The trio, including the alleged husband of a national-level shooter and his mother, were found guilty of conspiring to force religious conversion upon the victim, as well as plotting to rape her following a fraudulent marriage ceremony.

The convicted individuals were sentenced as follows: the alleged husband, Ranjeet Singh Kohli alias Raquibul Hassan, received life imprisonment; his mother received a 10-year prison term and the ex-High Court registrar, Md Mushtaque Ahmad, was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Each of them was also fined Rs 50,000.

The CBI court’s judgment highlighted the gravity of the offense, noting that the convicts had not only committed fraud but had also caused significant harm to a young woman who was a national asset as a National Level Shooter. The victim was lured into a fraudulent marriage and subsequently subjected to various forms of abuse, including physical assault and coercion into sexual acts.

The court held that all three accused were equally liable for their joint or separate illegal acts, as they had conspired to commit the offenses. It also emphasised that, based on the evidence, they were guilty of conspiring to commit rape, among other charges.

This case underscores the importance of protecting individuals from such heinous crimes and ensuring justice for victims of violence and exploitation.

Bangalore Consumer Forum Orders Photographer to Pay ₹20,000 for Undelivered Wedding Video

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC) in Bangalore has ruled in favor of a customer, directing a wedding photographer to compensate them with ₹20,000 plus interest for failing to provide the wedding CD video despite receiving full payment. The commission deemed this failure as a deficiency in service, emphasising the precious nature of wedding photographs and videos.

The complaint was filed after the photographer failed to deliver the CD despite receiving ₹80,000 for both a photo album and video coverage. The photographer’s explanation about editing difficulties and the availability of editors was not substantiated with evidence.

The commission ruled that if the photographer had already prepared the CD, it must be handed over along with compensation, as memories of the marriage cannot be recreated. Otherwise, the photographer would have to refund the amount received for the CD, deducting photography and album expenses. The claim for ₹2 lakh in compensation was considered excessive.

Advocate Mahalingaiah HH represented the complainant, while Advocate Chaluvaraju G represented the photographer.

Kerala High Court Seeks Police Response on Curbing ‘Review Bombing’ by Internet Vloggers

The Kerala High Court has called for a response from the State Police Chief regarding the implementation of protocols to address derogatory and calculated movie reviews posted on the internet by vloggers with the intent to harm the reputation of films and their teams. The order came in response to a petition by Mubeen Rauf, the director of the film “Aromalinte Adyathe Pranayam,” highlighting the detrimental impact of unrestrained negative criticism by vloggers on the film industry.

Justice Devan Ramachandran emphasised the seriousness of the matter and directed the Government Pleader to seek instructions from the State Police Chief on steps to protect the film industry from denigration due to the actions of individuals with malicious intent.

The Court stressed the need to distinguish between fair criticism and attempts to blackmail and extort filmmakers and their teams. It urged regulatory authorities to establish measures for lodging complaints, triggering proper investigations into such activities.

The issue will be further examined on October 10, 2023.

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