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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Delhi HC says no to stay on broadcast of Sudarshan programme

The channel had uploaded a promo of the show, Bindaas Bol, on its Twitter account on Aug 15, which triggered massive outrage.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | September 12, 2020 4:31:40 am
Former Union Telecom Minister A Raja and others were acquitted in the case in 2017. (File)

The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to stay the broadcast of a Sudarshan News programme which claimed to “expose” the “infiltration of Muslims” in the civil services.

The channel had uploaded a promo of the show, Bindaas Bol, on its Twitter account on Aug 15, which triggered massive outrage.

The programme was originally set to be telecast on August 28, but the court had stayed its broadcast. Following the court order on Friday, Sudarshan News aired the programme the same evening.

The court, however, issued a notice to the Union government and the news channel on a petition challenging the September 9 decision by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to allow the channel to go ahead with the telecast of the programme. The court granted time to the ministry, represented through central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, to file an affidavit in response to the plea which has sought to set aside the government’s September 9 order and to reassess the legality of the show.

It fixed the next date of hearing on November 18.

Earlier on Friday, the court heard a petition filed by two former students of Jamia Millia Islamia University which said that the programme violates the law by “promoting feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against the Muslim community and their place in India’s democratic institutions”. The petition argued that the union ministry failed to make assessment regarding violation of the Programme Code and refrained from exercising the powers under Sections 19 and 20 of the Cable TV Act. “The assessment has simply been abandoned on a statement of Sudarshan News and its Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke that there is no violation of the Programme Code. There is no independent application of mind to the facts and circumstances of the case,” the petition said.

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