On Friday Delhi High Court restrained private television channel Sudarshan News from broadcasting a show which had claimed to ‘expose’ on the ‘infilteration of Muslims’ in the civil services. The students of Jamia Millia Islamia university said that, ‘ it sought to incite hatred against them’. As per the court order the show did not broadcasted at it’s scheduled time of 8pm on Friday.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, Suresh Chavhanke, said in a statement, “To respect the Delhi High Court’s stay order, we have stopped the telecast of toady’s ‘Bindas Bol’ program. The subject of today’s ‘Bindas Bol’ was based on “Bureaucracy Jihad”. Also he claimed that this was the “first time in the history of television news that a show has been stopped before it’s telecast”.
After hearing a different petitioner on the same issue, on Friday, the Supreme Court declined to stop the airing of the show by saying that it is important to be circumspect about imposing a pre-broadcast injunction.
The current and former students of Jamia Millia Islamia submitted a petition
in the High Court stating that the show sought to “defame, attack and incite hatred against Jamia Millia Islamia, it’s alumni and the Muslim Community at large”.
Over an hour before the show time, Chavhanke had posted on Twitter: “ Aaj raat 8 baje show hoga. (The show will be broadcast at 8 this evening)”. The channel had not received an official notice, “should we get such a notice, we will read it and give our version at 8pm”. – he said.
Also a few days ago he had tweeted a promo of the show in which he used the expression “Jamia Ke Jihad”.
Chavhanke used the hashtag “UPSC_Jihad” in both the promo video and his tweet on Friday. Also in the statement which he had issued on Friday night, he stressed that, “ We strongly stand by the content shown in the promo of our program.”
By scheduling the matter for September 7 the single-judge High Court Bench of Justice Navin Chawla issued notices to the central government, the UPSC, Sudarshan TV, and Chavhanke.
Justice Chawla in his order said “ Having considered the submissions made, till the next date o hearing, the respondent number 3 and 4 are restrained from telecasting the program titled ‘Bindas Bol’, scheduled to be telecast at 8 pm today”.
Notices were issued to the Centre , the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and Sudarshan News to decline the order to a pre- broadcast stay on the show by a bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph. Advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan filed the petition in the Supreme Court.
“At this stage, we have desisted from imposing a pre-broadcast interlocutory injunction
on the basis of an unverified transcript of a forty-nine second clip, the court has to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views”, the judges said, also, the bench added that “under statutory provisions, competent authorities are vested with powers to ensure compliance with law, including provisions of the criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all communities”.
Issuing the notice the court said that “prima facie, the petition raises significant issues bearing on the protection of constitutional rights, together with free speech, there’re other constitutional values which need to be balanced and preserved including the fundamental right to free equality and fair treatment for every segment of citizen.”