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Delhi HC stays broadcast of Sudarshan TV's show on Muslim "infiltration" in government services

The petitioners have argued that the proposed broadcast sought to defame, attack and incite hatred against Jamia Milia Islamia, its alumni, and the Muslim community at large.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a petition against Sudarshan TV's show on Muslim "infiltration" in government services (Syed Mujtaba v. UOI & Ors).

As an interim measure, the broadcast of the show has been stayed by the High Court.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Central government, Sudarshan TV, and its Editor-in-Chief, Suresh Chavhanke.

The petition has been preferred by former and present students of Jamia Milia Islamia University.

The show, whose promo was widely publicized on social media, claimed to be a “Big Exposé on Conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in Government Service". The show was scheduled to air tonight at 8 pm.

In their petition filed through Advocate Shadan Farasat, the petitioners have argued that the proposed broadcast sought to defame, attack and incite hatred against Jamia Milia Islamia, its alumni, and the Muslim community at large.

"Respondent No 4 has openly incited his target non-Muslim audience by fearmongering that "jihadis" or terrorists from Jamia Millia Islamia would soon hold positions of authority and power like that of Collector and Secretary", the petition reads.

Seeking a direction to prohibit the proposed broadcast, the petitioners have contended that propsoed broadcast, as well as its trailer, constitutes hate speech and criminal defamation in terms of Sections 153A(1), 153B(1), 295A and 499 of Indian Penal Code.

It is also said that the same violates the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and its Rules.

In response to the petition, the Central Government informed the Court that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has received several complaints against the proposed broadcast and a notice has been has been issued to Sudarshan TV.

In view of the submissions made before it, the Court ordered,

Having considered the submissions made, till the next date of hearing, the respondent nos.3 and 4 (Sudharshan TV and its Editor-in-Chief) are restrained from telecasting the programme titled 'Bindas Bol' scheduled to be telecast at 8.00 p.m. today. In the meantime, the respondent no. 1 (Centre) shall decide on the notice issued and place its decision before this court.
Delhi High Court

The matter will be heard next on September 7.

Advocates Shadan Farasat, Bharat Gupta, Shourya Dasgupta appeared for the Petitioners.

Centre was represented by Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia with Advocates Abhigyan Siddhant.

UPSC was represented by Advocates Naresh Kaushik, Vardhman Kaushik.

Read the Order:

DEL HC Order.pdf
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