Delhi High Court Passes a Stay Order on Broadcast of Sudarshan TV’s Show

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A controversy erupted over a promotional clip released by Sudarshan TV channel on August 26. The promo claimed to broadcast a ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service. Due to which former and current students of Jamia Millia Islamia University approached The High Court of Delhi.

Facts of the Case

Syed Mujtaba Athar filed the petition against Sudarshan news channel and Mr Chavhanke (Editor-in-chief). The plea sought a direction to prohibit the telecast of the program “Bindas Bol”. It asked them to take down the trailers and all videos of the broadcast uploaded on the internet. As it constitutes hate speech and criminal defamation. Furthermore, it is an offence under Sections 153A (1), 153B(1), 295A, and 499 of IPC.

Arguments before Court

Advocate Shadan Farasat appeared on behalf of the petitioner. He argued that the proposed broadcast sought to defame, attack, and incite hatred against Jamia Milia Islamia, its alumni, and the Muslim community at large. He also submitted that the same violates the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and its Rules.

It was also submitted that Mr Chavhanke has openly incited his target non-Muslim audience by fear-mongering that “jihadis” or terrorists from Jamia Milia Islamia would soon hold positions of authority and power like that of Collector and Secretary.

Mr Farasat further submitted that the petitioners would suffer irretrievable damage if the program was shown on August 28.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia represented the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He submitted that they had sent a notice to the TV channel seeking its clarity on many complaints received by the ministry.

Court’s Order

A Single-Bench of Justice Navin Chawla has passed the stay order in an urgent hearing.

The next date for the hearing is September 7 2020, where Chavhanke (respondent) and Sudarshan News will get a chance to respond.


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