The Supreme Court today expressed concerns over the stereotyping and vilification of Muslims depicted in the Sudarshan TV broadcast on "UPSC Jihad"..The Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph brought up several problematic issues seen in the episodes that have already been aired..Yesterday, Sudarshan TV had filed an affidavit before the Court contending that Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI), a coaching institute for Muslim UPSC aspirants, has received funds from various terror-linked organizations..UPSC Coaching Centre for Muslims received donations from terrorism linked trusts and organizations: Sudarshan TV tells Supreme Court.At the outset of today's hearing, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for Zakat Foundation India, sought to be impleaded in the matter.Justice Chandrachud replied,"Suresh Chavhanke (founder and CMD of Sudarshan TV) says that your organization has a conflict. The PIL is not about you or to enquire into your affairs. If you want to intervene, we can ask Mr Divan and implead you."Chandrachud J also pointed out that Zakat Foundation's Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) records are being contested. Hegde then sought time till Monday to decide whether or not Zakat Foundation wanted to be impleaded in the case..Appearing for Sudarshan TV, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan contended that if the Court intervenes, there might be an imbalance in the rights and freedom at stake. He claimed that the real purpose of filing the affidavit calling into question Zakat Foundation was to set out the facts. He said,"The channel came across certain alarming facts to the effect that certain organizations working outside India have hatched a conspiracy to infiltrate the bureaucracy...channel endeavoured to expose anti-national activities & the manner in which some persons are being recruited in All India Civil Service under a design to induct persons with the financial support of international fundamentalists to achieve their oblique motives in India.".Divan went on to detail how Zakat Foundation received donations from an organisation that had ties with Islamic Foundation, two of whose trustees were on the UN sanctions list of people associated with banned terror organizations Taliban and Al-Qaeda.He also said that the organisation received funding from Muslim Aid UK, whose Chairman was said to be a former official of Pakistan's ISI. Divan also sought to establish connections between Zakat and Zakir Naik, who was charged with funding terrorist activities..The Senior Counsel thus submitted,"I believe this is not just a rant without facts. This is fact-based journalism, facts are powerful and projected with a particular point of view. I don't say that point may persuade the audience. But I have a fundamental right to project this both in print and TV......Zakat Foundation could have held a press conference and contested it. That's how a democracy works. These are weighty issues which require a society to debate in a robust and fair manner.".The second issue Divan sought to bring up was that of Muslims taking the benefit of both Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation as well as the minority scheme. He said,"If a news channel is raising an objection of Muslims taking benefit of OBC quota, the same cannot be communal...in this country, time and again, these questions and debates are in public domain."He added,"...there is a journalist who investigates and finds a large number of material regarding foreign funding which has funded extremist organizations in the past. ZFI has said that for next 35 years a post can be yours (Muslims)…People can respond by saying switching off tv or criticize the news show. But there can be no ban.".Divan went on to argue against a pre-broadcast ban, stating,"Now that we have four episodes and that you have an advantage of an explanation via an affidavit, our show enters the realm of permissible speech and takes us out of the category of cases where pre-broadcast injunction should be ordered."The Court was thus urged to allow the broadcast of the remaining six episodes of the series, with Divan contending that there is a robust statutory machinery to take care of complaints regarding defamation, untruth, etc..When the hearing resumed post-lunch, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta expressed the government's desire to makes submissions in the case. He said,"I would need time on Monday to address. If you are vacating the injunction, then I have nothing to say.".Justice Chandrachud then said that while publication restraint is matter of extreme recourse, there are certain elements in the show that are problematic. These included objectionable words like "namakharam" being used, and Muslims being stereotyped as having skull cap, beard and green clothing. He also referred to a portion where Chavhanke says, "see how they are getting foreign funds, enticing our wife's and daughters and doing love jihad."The judge thus said,."The issue is you implicate a whole community as taking over the civil services. This is the real issue. Whenever you show them joining civil services, you show ISIS. You want to say that Muslims joining civil services is a part of a deep-rooted conspiracy. Can the media be allowed to target whole sets of communities? "Justice DY Chandrachud.Divan insisted that the program has to be seen as a whole, and not as isolated clips. On the point of stereotyping, Divan conceded,"It is stereotyping...we require higher degree of sensitivity and the channel will now know that such an act should be frowned upon. I have no control over Sudarshan TV.".Chandrachud J then said,"...but then painting all candidates as carrying out an agenda shows hatred. This is the element of concern...here, free speech becomes hatred. You can't brand every member of the community...you alienate the good members too by this divisive agenda."He then asked Divan what assurances can be given if the Court allows the broadcast..At this point, Justice Malhotra said,"The flames (around Muslim people) needs to be taken off. We cannot dub the community and the picture of person wearing skull cap and green t-shirt with a tag of 500 crores."Divan then urged the Court to let the next two episodes air. He said he would do his best to convey the Bench's concerns to the channel.Chandrachud J then insisted,"You have to tell us voluntarily what you will do to assuage our concerns. We don't want to come in the way of journalism. We know as a Court what happened during Emergency, so we will ensure free speech and ideas."He added,."Let a message go to media that a particular community cannot be targeted. We have to look after a nation of the future which is cohesive and diverse. We recognize national security, but we need to have individual respect too."Justice Chandrachud.As the discussion moved on to the regulations that are already in place, Justice Chandrachud noted,"NBA (News Broadcasters Association) says they have a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge. They can impose a maximum fine of 1 lakh and this shows how toothless they are. But NBA is only for members, so Sudarshan News not being a member is not governed by NBA."The judge then said that if NBA is brought into the Programme Code fold, it can take action against news channels that are not its members.SG Mehta replied that this particular issue was pending before the Court in the case on the reportage related to the Tablighi Jamaat..Chandrachud J then pulled up the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, saying,"If there was a viable method of regulation, we would not have to step out. Your undersecretary wrote saying Programme Code should not be violated. I&B Ministry didn't check what happened after the broadcast and how the Programme Code was violated.".Justice Joseph then called into question whether Sudarshan TV can face action under the Cable Networks Act and whether the Common Cause verdict would apply to it, since it was not a cable operator. He went on to observe,"In episode 4, Udit Raj, MP was there and see how he was treated. You did not agree with him. One of the members of the audience was interviewed and he says Muslims should not get OBC benefit. What kind of attitude are you inculcating by doing this program?......You have put up a cocktail of various factors but at the bottom you are maligning an entire community.".Joseph J went on to point out that there were many half-truths in the show, in terms of percentages."Union wants Muslims to come up and 50% Muslims made it to the UPSC, and now you are running it down."SG Mehta chimed in,"We (Centre) always strive to see all marginalized sections to come up.".When Divan sought to address the issues in a fresh affidavit, Advocate Shadan Farasat intervened, saying, "All these episodes are objectively hate speech and nothing else. We would like to persuade the Court that it is indeed the constitutional court's duty to order an injunction in this particular case."Advocate Shahrukh Alam added,"Does a deliberate propaganda deserve rebuttal? The affidavit filed here does not lay down at all what is shown.".At this point, Advocate Nisha Bhambhani, appearing for NBA, argued,"We also make channels apologise in prime time. We are not toothless. Several Supreme Court and High Court judgments commend our regulations."Justice Chandrachud then asked her,"Do you watch TV?"When the counsel replied in the affirmative, Chandrachud J asked,"Are you able to control it?"Bhambhani responded,"It has improved significantly, but many are not our members."Chandrachud J then asked the counsel for NBA to come back with a method to strengthen the NBA so that it has higher regulatory power..As the hearing drew to close, Advocate Gautam Bhatia said he would take the Court through certain legal points covering hate speech, which will aid better reading of the affidavit. Justice Chandrachud then asked Bhatia to help the Court on the aspect of restraint to be exercised in such matters by constitutional courts..The Bench will next hear the matter on Monday, September 21..On the last date of hearing, the Court directed Sudarshan TV to defer the broadcast of its programme touted as a ''big expose on the conspiracy" regarding Muslims "infiltrating government service", until further orders..Pertinently, the Court had observed,"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."."If things were so hunky-dory, we wouldn't have to see what we see on TV every day": 13 remarks made during the "UPSC Jihad" hearing in SC.The Court also called for the setting up of a committee of five citizens who can come up with standards for electronic media. .The Court had earlier refused to impose a pre-broadcast ban on the controversial Sudarshan TV programme. It said that it has to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views..This, after Advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan had moved the Court, submitting transcripts of the show to prove that the program would be derogatory to Muslims entering the profession of civil services..The petitioner had submitted that the airing of views in the course of the programme would violate the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, together with the Code of Ethics and News Broadcasting Standards Regulations..A group of former civil servants had also moved the Court to intervene as applicants in the petition by Khan, stating that the Supreme Court must lay down an authoritative pronouncement on hate speech..[Breaking] Former civil servants move Supreme Court to intervene in "UPSC Jihad" case, raise need for authoritative ruling on hate speech.The promo of the show shared by the channel’s Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke, with hashtag ‘UPSC Jihad’, had garnered criticism from several quarters. In the video, he called those passing out of Jamia Milia Islamia's Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) and clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as “Jamia ke Jihadi”..Citing freedom of press, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had given the green signal to the airing of the show.Soon thereafter, the Delhi High Court had issued notice in a petition challenging the Central government's decision to allow the Sudarshan TV broadcast.