IAMAI gets Justice Sikri to chair OTT players’ grievance redressal board

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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Thursday named former supreme court justice Arjan Kumar Sikri as chairman of the Grievance Redressal Board (GRB), formed as a part of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC) backed by 14 video streaming players including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and MX Player.

IAMAI said that the GRB will address content grievances pertaining to any of the DPCGC member’s video streaming services.

It will function as an independent body and act as the second-tier within the three-tier grievance redressal mechanism as envisioned by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Under Justice Sikri’s leadership, the GRB will aim to provide independent adjudication on content grievances escalated to it. The members of the GRB include prominent personalities from the media and entertainment industry, online curated content providers, experts from various fields – – including child rights, women rights, and media laws.

These include National award-winning actress Suhasini Maniratnam; Indian film producer and partner at Emmay Entertainment and Motion Pictures Madhu Bhojwani; senior advocate at Supreme Court Gopal Jain; and eminent civil society representative Dr Ranjana Kumari, who currently serves as the director of the Centre for Social Research and as the chairperson of Women Power Connect.

The two members from the online curated content providers are – Amit Grover, senior corporate counsel, Amazon India, and Priyanka Chaudhari, Director-legal, Netflix India.

Last month, IAMAI had announced the formation of DPCGC, after the broadcasters’ body Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) tried to create a self-regulatory body for the OTT players, similar to Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC).

While broadcasters-owned OTT players, Disney+Hotstar, ZEE5, Sony LIV and VOOT joined IBF, 14 OTT players decided to remain with IAMAI.

IBF has already named former Supreme Court justice Vikramjit Sen as chairman of its self-regulatory body – Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC). Justice Sen has been past chairman of BCCC.

DMCRC’s members include film-makers Nikkhil Advani, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Tigmanshu Dhulia; Banijay Asia founder and CEO Deepak Dhar, Sony Pictures Networks India general counsel Ashok Nambisan and Star & Disney India chief regional counsel Mihir Rale.

ET first reported that IBF has also passed a resolution to change its name to Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) to bring digital players under its ambit.

Meanwhile, IAMAI said that the DPCGC will empower consumers to make informed viewing choices and promote creative excellence, which are keys to the long-term success of the Indian entertainment industry.

The appointment of GRB members is a crucial step towards setting up an independent grievance redressal mechanism in alignment with IT Rules 2021. The GRB will oversee and ensure the alignment and adherence to the Code of Ethics by the DPCG Council members, provide guidance to member entities on the Code of Ethics, and address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within the stipulated period.

The DPCGC currently has 14 publishers of online curated content as members, which include Amazon Prime Video, Alt Balaji, Apple, BookMyShow Stream,

Now, Firework TV, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Netflix, Reeldrama, Shemaroo and Ullu.

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