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Delhi High Court refuses to stay TV show

Petition said proposed show is full of hate speech and if it is not adjudicated before the broadcast, irreparable harm would be caused and the plea would become infructuous
Delhi High Court

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 12.09.20, 04:52 AM

Delhi High Court on Friday declined to stay the evening telecast of Sudarshan TV’s Bindas Bol programme, whose promo had promised a “big expose on the conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service”.

Justice Navin Chawla issued notices to the Centre, Sudarshan News and its editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke on a petition filed by former and present students of Jamia Millia Islamia University challenging the clearance given by the ministry of information and broadcasting for the telecast.

The petition had sought an urgent hearing seeking a directive prohibiting the broadcast. It said the proposed show is full of hate speech and if the petition is not adjudicated before the broadcast, irreparable harm would be caused and the plea would become infructuous.

But the high court granted time to the ministry to file an affidavit in response to the petition, which wanted a directive to the government to reassess the legality of the show and an order to the channel not to broadcast the show till the government takes a decision. The court fixed the next date of hearing on November 18.

Advocate Bijender Singh, who was representing the TV channel, said: “There is no stay on the telecast of the programme. The court declined it.”

The high court on August 28 had stayed the telecast scheduled the same evening of the programme on the entry of Muslims and Jamia alumni into the civil services. On August 29, the high court directed the ministry to take a decision on the show.

The petition said the ministry did not exercise its powers under the Cable TV Act to prohibit the show. Instead it simply said: “…Sudarshan TV channel is hereby directed to ensure that the programme proposed to be telecast does not violate any of the programme codes. If any violation of the programme code is found, action as per law will be taken.”  

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