HC stays telecast of Sudarshan TV programme on Muslim 'infiltration' in government services

The show was scheduled to air tonight at 8 pm.

Published: 28th August 2020 07:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2020 07:53 PM   |  A+A-

Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke

Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke (Photo | Facebook)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Friday restrained Sudarshan TV from telecasting 'Bindas Bol' programme, whose latest promo claimed that the channel was all set to broadcast a 'big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service'.

The show was scheduled to air tonight at 8 pm.

Justice Navin Chawla issued notices seeking replies from the central government, Sudarshan TV, and its Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke on a petition filed by former and present students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on September 7.

The plea contended that the proposed broadcast sought to defame, attack and incite hatred against JMI, its alumni, and the Muslim community at large.

During the hearing, advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for the petitioners, showed a video clip of the trailer that has been released by the TV channel for the programme ‘Bindas Bol' and said it shows the programme could be in complete violation of the Programme Code.

He said an irretrievable damage would be caused to the petitioners if the programme is allowed to be telecast today.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, representing the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, submitted that on several complaints having been received by the ministry, a notice has been issued to the TV channel seeking its clarification.

The court, in its order, said: “Having considered the submission made, till the next date of hearing, the respondent nos.3 and 4 (Sudarshan TV and Chavhanke) are restrained from telecasting the programme titled ‘Bindas Bol' scheduled to be telecast at 8 PM today.

”The court said, in the meantime, the ministry shall decide on the notice issued to the TV channel and place the decision before it.

Initially, the petition made Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) as one the parties to the petition.

However, during the hearing, the counsel for UPSC said it was neither a necessary nor a proper party to the petition.

On his submission, the petitioners' counsel said he will delete UPSC from the array of parties.

The petition by Syed Mujtaba Athar, Ritesh Siraj and Aamir Subhani sought direction to prohibit the telecast of the programme and to take down the trailers and all videos of the broadcast which are uploaded on the Internet by them.

It said the trailer was uploaded by the channel's editor-in-chief on August 25 on social media and the petitioners came to know about it on August 27 when it went viral.

“The respondent no.

4 (Chavhanke) has openly incited his target non-Muslim audience by fearmongering that ‘jihadis' or terrorists from Jamia Millia Islammia would soon hold positions of authority and power like that of collector and secretary,” it said.

The plea said of the proposed broadcast is allowed to go ahead, it would present a clear danger to the security of the petitioners as well as that of other students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia including those who cleared the Civil Services Exam in 2020 as well as the Muslim community at large.

It claimed that this would leave them open to the imminent threat of violence, including the possibility of lynching.

“This would amount to an extremely egregious violation of the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed to the petitioners under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the plea said.

It said a prima facie case is made out that the proposed broadcast amounts to hate speech and criminal defamation and fatally compromises the right to life and liberty of the petitioners.

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