‘Wind up Sudarshan TV for acting against nation’s integrity’: Venkatesh Nayak & Jagdeep Chhokar write to govt
They alleged that the channel has violated every canon of credible journalism by consistently circulating “false statements”, designed and intended to “provoke hatred and threaten public order”
Transparency rights activist Venkatesh Nayak and renowned academic Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar have written a letter to Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, urging them to initiate proceedings for winding up the Sudarshan TV Channel, for acting against public order and integrity of India, LiveLaw.in has reported.
Nayak and Chhokar have alleged that the channel has violated every canon of credible journalism by consistently circulating "false statements", designed and intended to "provoke hatred and threaten public order".
The primary focus of the representationists is upon the 'Bindas Bol' show of the channel, about the alleged Muslim infiltration in the Civil Services.
"The show attempts to convey – in violation of every canon of credible journalism and of the truth – that the Indian Muslim minority is involved in an act of terror by means of infiltrating the civil services," they wrote seeking invocation of Section 271 of the Companies Act, 2013, sub clause (b) whereof provides that the NCLT may wind up the operations of a company if it has "acted against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality," they wrote
Under Section 272(1)(f), the Central government or the state government may file a petition for Winding Up.
In the ongoing case against pre-publication restraint of the show, the Supreme Court has observed that the programming was riddled with "not just palpably erroneous but [which] have been made in wanton disregard of the truth". The Court further found an "intent, object and purpose" to "vilify the Muslim community".
In this backdrop the Representationists wrote, "The content that is broadcast by Sudarshan News TV creates a hostile public culture and environment which directly confronts the 'decency and morality clause', and specifically, constitutional morality itself as understood from Article 19(2) because it normalises religious discrimination against a particular minority community in India using outrageous methods of slander and abuse."
They wrote that the use of a "corporate vehicle" by the shareholders and management of the Sudarshan TV Channel Limited to inflame and pit citizens of one community against others by circulating "patent mis-truths" and threaten national integrity, public order and indeed the security of the State - is sufficient on its own to activate the State's duty to initiate to discontinue the abuse of the Companies Act by moving the relevant authority to initiate winding up proceedings.
They further highlighted that the Company has violated the citizens' right to "true & correct news & information."
"Sudarshan TV's repeated broadcast of malicious falsehoods that have the potential to impact public order, in addition to being in violation of constitutional morality and an affront to the values of national integrity and fraternity and demand immediate redress," they urged.