The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it had issued a notice to Sudarshan TV under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, asking the channel to show cause why action should not be taken against it for alleged violation of the Programme Code in the broadcast of its show “UPSC Jihad”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud that the notice issued on Wednesday has asked the channel to tender its explanation by 5 pm September 28, failing which ex parte decision will be taken.
Mehta urged the court to adjourn the hearing until after that so as to enable the government to take a considered view.
Agreeing, the bench, also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph, directed that the notice “shall be dealt with in accordance with law, and the central government shall submit a report to the court indicating the outcome of the notice”.
Justice Chandrachud orally told the S-G, “You apprise us of the decision. And we take it that you will take a reasoned decision on the issue.”
The bench also said that further steps in pursuance of the decision will be subject to orders of the court.
The bench will now hear the matter on October 5.
The court directed that the interim stay imposed by it on airing of the show on September 15 will continue to operate.
Justice Joseph asked if the government will hear those who had lodged the complaint before taking a decision.
But Mehta said there may be hundreds of complaints in every such case and the government did not want to set a bad precedent. He said the government may take the call to hear anyone if it feels that is necessary. He urged the court not to issue any direction in this regard.
Justice Chandrachud said the court is “not saying for a moment that that Centre’s decision will conclude the matter”, and that other issues will remain open.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines