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I&B Ministry Ready with Order in Sudarshan TV Matter, Centre Tells SC

File photo of Sudarshan Channel Editor-in-chief  Suresh Chavhanke. (Credit: Twitter)

File photo of Sudarshan Channel Editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke. (Credit: Twitter)

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud that the ministry's order would be placed on record by tomorrow and the aggrieved person can challenge it thereafter.

The Centre Monday told the Supreme Court that the I&B Ministry is ready with the order in the matter in which a show-cause notice was issued to Sudarshan TV based on the recommendation of an inter-ministerial group which has viewed all the episode of the channel's Bindas Bol' programme. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud that the ministry's order would be placed on record by tomorrow and the aggrieved person can challenge it thereafter.

The apex court, while taking in account Mehta's submission, adjourned the matter for November 19. The top court was hearing a plea which has raised grievance over Bindas Bol' programme whose promo had claimed that channel would show the 'big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service'.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, an untoward incident happened when an advocate, appearing for one of the intervenors in the matter, was shown on the screen while he was shirtless. I do not like to be hard to anyone but you are on screen. You have to be careful, Justice Chandrachud said.

The SG had earlier informed the bench that the inter-ministerial group had heard the representative of the channel. On September 23, the Centre had informed the apex court that it has prima facie found violation of the programme code by Sudarshan TV's Bindas Bol' show and has issued a notice to the channel.

The top court had said that steps taken by the government in pursuance to the show cause notice against the channel would be subject to the orders of the court. The apex court had also said that its interim order of September 15, 2020 (injuncting the telecast of remaining episodes of the programme) shall continue to remain in operation pending further orders.

On September 21, the apex court had pondered over the nature and extent of its order regulating 'Bindas Bol' programme on alleged infiltration of Muslims in bureaucracy saying it did not want to curtail freedom of speech as the programme has public interest involved on issues of foreign funding and reservation.

The top court had earlier questioned Sudarshan TV over its programme asking whether the media can be allowed to target whole set of communities. It had asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the National Broadcasters Association to give suggestions for strengthening the self-regulating mechanism of NBA for electronic media.


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