In interim relief to Television channel Comedy Central, the Supreme Court today lifted the ten day ban imposed on it by the Delhi High Court for broadcasting offensive content. The prohibition on the offending programme aired by the channel will, however, continue..Senior Advocates Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Indu Malhotra along with advocate Liz Mathew and a team from TMT Law Practice led by Managing Partner Abhishek Malhotra and Senior Associate Angad Dugal represented the appellant, Viacom 18, which owns the channel..The matter was heard by a Division Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit..In its petition, Viacom has contended that the High Court erred in applying Section 20(2) of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995 (Act) in the instant case and that it should have applied Section 20(3) instead. Section 20(2) empowers the Central government to prohibit the transmission of a channel or programme “in the interest of public order, decency or morality” while Section 20(3) empowers it to prohibit transmission of a programme for violation of programme code referred to in Section 5 of the Act..As per the petition,.“The Hon’ble Division Bench of the Delhi High Court failed to appreciate that the specific provision dealing with violations of the Programme Code is Section 20(3) of the Cable TV Act and since the violations alleged in the Show Cause Notice as well as the Order of the Respondent related only to violations of the Programme Code, hence, the only provision that could have been attracted was Section 20(3) of the Cable TV Act.”.Viacom has further contended that the transmission of the,.“objectionable episode was a result of operational mishap on part of their programming team which inadvertently failed to edit the said objectionable contents as per the advice of the Content Audit Team…. and was never meant to be telecast with any intention to show any obscene content which offends good taste and decency.”.It has, therefore, contended that,.“Equating unintentional minor infractions with serious breaches for determining suspension …would be a fetter and in the teeth of the freedom of speech available to the Petitioners under Article 19 (1) (a). The right to operate and broadcast television channel is protected under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.”.It has also alleged that, “the manner in which the Respondent has interpreted the policies and imposed penalty in complete violation of the said fundamental rights of the Petitoner is not only anachronistic to the constitutional values of a liberal democracy, but also inconsistent with prevailing practices worldwide.”.The Court after hearing Harish Salve and Abhishek Manu Singhvi issued notice to the Central government. As an interim measure, it held that,.“As an interim measure, it is directed that the direction issued by the High Court by its order dated 24th November, 2014, banning the channel in toto with effect from 26th November, 2014, shall remain stayed. However, the direction to remove the programmes or telecasting them in the channel, shall remain operational.”.The case will now be heard on December 8..Read the Supreme Court order below.