stay on the telecast of a show by Sudarshan News channel and its Editor-in-Chief on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services.n a special sitting held today, the Delhi High Court refused to vacate its
Justice Navin Chawla was hearing a plea filed by the channel seeking a lifting of the stay order.
In support of plea to vacate the stay, the channel cited the order of the Supreme Court passed yesterday while hearing a similar plea albeit filed by a different petitioner refusing to stay the broadcast of the same show.
After considering the order of the apex court, and taking note of observations made therein that under statutory provisions, the competent authorities were vested with powers to ensure compliance with the law, including provisions of criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all communities, Justice Chawla directed the channel and its editor-in-chief to file its reply by September 1 to the notice issued by the Central Government under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and to the Central Government to take an appropriate decision within 48 hours of receipt of reply from the channel.
The stay on the show will continue till then, the HC clarified.
Yesterday, the High Court had stayed the controversial show on a plea filed by former and current students of Jamia Millia Islamia University. They had contended that the show sought to defame, attack and incite hatred against Jamia Milia Islamia, its alumni and the Muslim community at large.
The plea filed through advocate Shadan Farast contended that Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan TV, openly engaged in hate speech and defamation against students of Jamia Milia Islamia and the Muslim community, and had claimed that the success of Jamia Milia Islamia students in the Civil Services examination 2020 represents a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil service by Muslims.
The advocate appearing for the Central Government had informed the court it had sought a clarification from the channel after receiving several complaints regarding a programme which was proposed to be broadcast on Sudarshan News TV on August 28 at 8 pm.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court while hearing a similar plea albeit filed by a different petitioner refused to stay the broadcast of the same show. A two-judge bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph said that the court had to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on the publication or the airing of views on the basis of an unverified transcript of a 49-second clip.