The Supreme Court on Tuesday told Sudarshan TV on Tuesday that it could not allow it to say “Muslims are infiltrating the civil services” and ordered the channel to stop airing its ‘UPSC Jihad’ series on the Bindass Bol show, pending further orders.
The court was hearing a plea against the series which targeted members of the Muslim community who join India’s civil services.
In its order, SC said: “At this stage, prima facie, it appears to the court that the object, intent and purpose of the program is to vilify the Muslim community with an insidious attempt to portray them as part of a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil services.”
“We are duty bound to ensure adherence to the program code formed under Cable TV Act edifice of a stable democratic society and observance of constitutional rights and duties is based on coexistence of communities. Any attempt to vilify a community must be viewed with disfavour,” Justice DY Chandrachud said while reading out the order, Bar&Bench quoted.
The Centre had permitted the show to air after the Delhi High Court had asked it to decide on the matter.
The Supreme Court said that this permission had been given based on a 49-second promo of the show.
The channel has aired three episodes of its nine-part series.
Justice Chandrachud: As a Supreme Court of the nation we cannot allow you to say that Muslims are infiltrating civil services. You cannot say that the journalist has absolute freedom doing this pic.twitter.com/TRYyQENOQp— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 15, 2020
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph asked the channel to defer the airing of the next segment of the show scheduled for Tuesday night.
While the channel argued against this in the name of press freedom, Justice Chandrachud said, “This is not a freedom of speech issue. When you say there is a conspiracy by Muslims to flood the civil services,” LiveLaw reported.
Advocate Shadan Farasat, who appeared for the petitioners,...