The High Court (HC) has directed the government to formulate a policy to monitor, control and collect revenue on the publication and distribution of various content on various online platforms.
The HC has asked the information secretary and the chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to prepare a draft policy and submit it to the court within the next three months.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order on Monday after reviewing the report submitted by the BTRC and police.
Lawyer Khandaker Reza-e-Rakib submitted the BTRC report. Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy presented the report of the Deputy Inspector General of the Criminal Investigation Department. Lawyer Tanvir Ahmed appeared for the petitioner in the court.
Lawyer Rakib later told reporters the committee set up by the government to formulate a policy on OTT platform supervision, control and how to collect revenue has been told to submit a draft policy to the court within the next three months.
The five-member committee headed by the additional information secretary was formed in the middle of last year. The committee comprises the Director General of BTRC, a representative of the Bangladesh Bank and a representative of NBR and lawyer Reza-e-Rakib.
Petitioner's lawyer Tanvir Ahmed said a report was published in an English daily last year, according to which, Netflix earns Tk180 crore a year from its customers in Bangladesh. There are many such platforms now but the government cannot collect revenue from them.
"Moreover, a lot of video content released on these platforms do not go with our socio-cultural values. As a result, it is urgent to supervise and control them. That is why the court has given this order to come up with a policy," he added.