SC Abstains From Imposing Ban On A Sudarshan Tv News Broadcast

A Supreme Court bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice K.M. Joseph  refused to order an interlocutory injunction on a broadcast by Sudarshan News Channel. The order was passed a few hours before the segment was to be aired at 8 PM on 28th August.

The petition was filed by Firoz Iqbal Khan who contended that the broadcast violates the code under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 along with the Code of Ethics and News Broadcasting Standards Regulations. A 49 second promo clip showing the Editor-in-Chief of the Channel Suresh Chavhanke with the hashtag “UPSC Jihad” was relied upon to demonstrate the broadcast making derogatory statements against Muslims entering Civil Services. Civil servants from the Jamia Milia Islamia’s Residential Coaching Academy were referred to in the clip.

The Court refused to pass an interlocutory order based on the unverified clip stating that it needs to be “circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views”. However, considering the significance of the case, a notice was issued to the Central Government and the Press Council of India, returnable on 15 September.

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