Sudarshan TV case: SG tells SC Centre’s order on complaints ready, can be served tomorrow

The Ministry had earlier heard Sudarshan News TV on the complaints that its show violated the program code by communalizing the entry of Muslims into the civil services

Sudarshan TV case: SG tells SC Centre’s order on complaints ready, can be served tomorrow
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NH Web Desk

The Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court on Monday that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was ready with its order on the complaints against the 'Bindas Bol' show of Sudarshan News TV, legal news website LiveLaw.in has reported.

The Ministry had earlier heard Sudarshan News TV on the complaints that its show violated the program code by communalizing the entry of Muslims into the civil services.

The Solicitor General submitted that the order can be served on the parties tomorrow.

Based on that submission, a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee adjourned the case Firoz Iqbal Khan v Union of India till November 19.

On the previous hearing date, October 5, the Central government told the court that it had issued a notice to the channel on complaints of violations under the Programme Code.

The Centre told top court that it had issued a fresh show-cause notice to Sudarshan News and an inter-ministerial committee had been set up to watch the episodes so as to make recommendations.

On September 15, the top court had stayed the broadcast of the show after observing that it was prima facie making a prima facie observation that the object and the purpose of the show were to vilify the Muslim community.

"At this stage, prima facie, it does appear to the Court that the intent, object and purpose of the episodes which have been telecast is to vilify the Muslim community. An insidious attempt has been made to insinuate that the community is involved in a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil services. Several statements in the episodes, which have been drawn to the attention of the Court are not just palpably erroneous but have been made in wanton disregard of the truth. There is no relaxation either in the age limit or in the number of attempts available to the Muslim community in the civil services. The drift, tenor and content of the episodes is to bring the community into public hatred and disrepute," the SC had stated in its order passed on September 15.


Earlier, on September 10, the Ministry had allowed the telecast of the show by observing that it was not possible to come to a conclusion on the violation of the Programme Code before the episodes were actually telecasted. While disposing of the complaint, the Centre had then asked Sudarshan TV to ensure that the episodes did not violate the Program Code.

After that, the channel telecasted four episodes of the show from September 11 to 14.

On September 15, the top court stayed the telecast of the remaining after taking a prima facie view that the tenor of the show was communal in nature.

Earlier, on September 10, the Ministry had allowed the telecast of the show by observing that it was not possible to come to a conclusion on the violation of the Programme Code before the episodes were actually telecasted. While disposing of the complaint, the Centre had then asked Sudarshan TV to ensure that the episodes did not violate the Program Code.

After that, the channel telecasted four episodes of the show from September 11 to 14.

On September 15, the top court stayed the telecast of the remaining after taking a prima facie view that the tenor of the show was communal in nature.

During a subsequent date of hearing, Justice Chandrachud had asked the Solicitor General if anyone from the Ministry applied their mind to the four episodes of the show telecast from September 11 to 14, after the Ministry allowed its telecast.

"The programme would have been over by now if the Court had not intervened", Justice Chandrachud had remarked on September 23.

Sudarshan News TV in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court claimed that it was doing "investigative journalism" into terror funding under the guise of civil service training.

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