'Rabid programme': SC stays Sudarshan TV's controversial show on UPSC recruitment


Daijiworld Media Network - New Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday September 15 stayed the telecast of controversial episodes of Sudarshan TV’s show ‘Bindas Bol’, stating that at present, prima facie it does appear the programme 'vilifies the Muslim community'. After calling it a 'rabid programme' the apex court barred Sudarshan TV from telecasting the programme on Septemer 15 and 16 while adjourning the matter to September 17.

Sudarshan News in its much publicised promos of 'UPSC Jihad' had claimed that it was 'exposing' a 'big conspiracy' to 'infiltratte Muslims in government service'. The Supreme Court had on August 28 declined to impose a pre-broadcast stay on the show. Former bureaucrats, Jamia Milia as well as UPSC had expressed their objection to the show and demanded action against Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of the channel and host of the programme.

After pleas against the programme were filed in the Supreme Court, a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday, "Look at this programme, how rabid is this programme that one community is entering into civil services."

"See how insinuating is the subject of this programme that Muslims have infiltrated the services and this puts the examinations of UPSC under scanner without any factual basis," said the bench, also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph.

Concerns were also raised over the manner in which some media houses were conducting debate 'as all kind of defamatory things are being said'.

"Such insidious charges also put a question mark on the UPSC exams. Aspersions have been cast on UPSC. Such allegations without any factual basis, how can this be allowed? Can such programs be allowed in a free society," the bench remarked.

As per reports, the programme by Sudarshan TV in promos stated ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service’. On August 28, the top court had refused to impose a pre-broadcast ban on the programme.

It had issued notice to the Centre, the Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association and Sudarshan News on a plea filed by advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan who has raised grievance pertaining to the programme.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that freedom of journalist is supreme and it would be 'disastrous for any democracy to control the press'.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Shyam Divan arguing in favour of Sudarshan TV said that the channel considered it as an investigative story on national security.

Responding to this statement by Divan, the bench said, “Your client is doing a disservice to the nation and is not accepting India is a melting point of diverse culture. Your client needs to exercise his freedom with caution.”

It also said that there should be some kind of self-regulation in media and it would hear the solicitor general on this issue. “We are not saying states will impose any such guidelines as it would be an anathema to Article 19 of freedom of speech and expression,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court observed that the revenue model of TV channels and their ownership patterns should be put in the public domain on the website.

"The point is this that the right of the media is on behalf of the citizens only and it is not an exclusive right of the media," the bench said.

"Electronic media has become more powerful than print media and we have not been supportive of the pre-broadcast ban," it added.

In the proceedings which were taking place via video conference, the bench pointed out the way 'criminal investigation' is being carried out by some media houses. “When journalists operate, they need to work around the right to fair comment. See criminal investigation, media often focuses only one part of the investigation,” it said.

The apex court further asked Divan to advise his client (Sudarshan News) to practice some restraint.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Anoop G Chaudhary said the Delhi High Court had referred the matter to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry but the ministry did not pass a reasoned order. He said the ministry allowed the broadcast and did not hear the other side and simply took the statement of the channel that it would follow the broadcasting rules.

Earlier in the week, the Delhi High Court had declined to stay the telecast of the series of programmes.

 

  

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Comment on this article

  • vassu, kudla

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    Truth hurts. Why one particular community is privileged in everything? Why can't they be prepared to a healthy competition rather than being given things on a platter. The people from other communities have to work so much harder for the same. That is also sort of injustice.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leo, Mumbai

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    Where are the naughty police. They issued statements in the past that they will hold Whatsup Admins responsible for insulting any religion or any person but all these Sudharshan TV, Republic TV and others constantly insult others. Some panelists give filthy and vulgar bad words like retired Gen. Bakshi on TV for millions to watch. Where is the police statements of punishments, arrests, FIRs. Are these rules only for the common man and not for everyone.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr. Haneef Shabab, Bhatkal

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    Let Justice prevail in this country.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Kumar Shetty, Katipalla/Mangaluru

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    Such news channels not required in our country that frighten one community of consequences from another community ....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidananda Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    I hope that same SC will impose ban on some other channels depicting controversial show on other religion too
    Now nobody will fight for press-freedom!!!

    Insulting one's faith is totally not acceptable but it should be applicable for all religion too

    DisAgree [8] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • vishnu bhat, bangalore

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    channels like this and Republic TV should be shut down - they are sheer hate mongers - rabid.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [68] Reply Report Abuse

  • AD, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    A good judgement keeping in view inclusivity of India.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • AD, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    A good judgement keeping in view inclusivity of India.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammed, India

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    So as per SC, this was not a hate news.. only stay not ban on his channel..

    DisAgree [10] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanath Kumar T, Varanasi

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    It is bitter indeed, truth. Any person shouldn't get extra privilege in UPSC selection based upon the speciality you chose in Mains exams. That privilege generated by extra additional marks by evaluating committee.

    DisAgree [34] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • SD, Bangaore

    Wed, Sep 16 2020

    Thank God for Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice KM Joseph. should TV Channels that air controversial shows to instigate communal hatred should be banned for life.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Concerned citizen, Mangaluru

    Tue, Sep 15 2020

    Why not his channel banned yet. Why dont police arrest him and why SC or HCs or Minorities commission or UPSC dont take suo motto cognizance now?

    DisAgree [11] Agree [70] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ajay Rebello, Kallianpur

    Tue, Sep 15 2020

    Imagine such provocative and non news like SSR/Kangana being telecast on good old DD News. At the time of a pandemic It would have made DD the laughing stock of world news.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse


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