Pulled up for telecasting the controversial ‘UPSC Jihad’ programme on its channel, Sudarshan TV defended the show before the Supreme Court on Thursday, 17 September. Appearing before the top court, Sudarshan News TV termed its actions as “investigative journalism”, reported Live Law.
The programme that received much criticism was aired as part of a show called ‘Bindas Bol’. Defending its actions, the channel claimed that it is doing investigative journalism “to awaken the citizens and the government about ani-national and anti-social activities,” reported Live Law.
Editor-in-chief of Sudharshan News TV, Suresh Chavhanke reportedly claimed he held no ill-will against any community or individual. He also allegedly claimed that there was no statement or message in the first four episodes of the show that said members of a particular community should not join UPSC.
This comes after the Supreme Court restrained Sudarshan TV from airing its show "Bindas Bol" for claiming to “expose” the “infiltration of Muslims” in the civil services. The SC called the show ‘rabid’ and an attempt to vilify Muslims.
Defending its choice of words in naming the show ‘UPSC Jihad’, the channel alleged that it found out though sources that the Zakat Foundation has received funds from various organisations with links to extremist or terror groups, reported Live Law. Sudarshan News TV allegedly claimed that these funds are then used by the Zakat Foundation to support IAS, IPS or UPSC aspirants.
"“The thrust of the programme is that there appears to be a conspiracy which needs to be investigated by NIA or CBI. It appears that terror-linked organisations are funding the Zakat Foundation of India, which in turn is supporting the aspirants.”" - Excerpt from the affidavit as reported by Live Law
Terming it a matter of national security, the channel sought a public debate and discussion on the source of funding, reported Live Law. Sudarshan News TV reportedly claimed that the show should not be judged only on the basis of some slides and all the episodes must be watched to understand their perspective.
. Read more on India by The Quint.‘Doing Investigative Journalism’: Sudarshan TV to SC on UPSC JihadChinese Actions Disregard Bilateral Agreements: Rajnath in RS . Read more on India by The Quint.