Bad news for liberals, High court lifts ban on Sudarshan News show UPSC Jihad, now IT Ministry has to take decision

In breaking news, the ban on Sudarshan News TV imposed by the High Court has been removed. Earlier, as many as 91 retired civil servants had called for strong administrative and legal action against Sudarshan News for its proposed television show that claims to expose “infiltration of Muslims” in the civil services.

Sudarshan News channel’s controversial show, which claimed a ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in the civil services’, came under judicial scrutiny before the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

Some former and present students of Jamia Millia Islamia had approached the high court stating that the show aims to incite hatred against the Muslim community at large.

However, the apex court had refused to impose pre-broadcast ban on Sudarshan TV from airing ‘Bindas Bol’ programme, the HC, in an interim order, stayed the telecast of the episode — ‘UPSC Jihad’ — which was scheduled to be telecast at 8 pm on Friday, 28 August.

As soon as the video was published, it went viral like wildfire. However, the video did not go down well with many, as a result of which, the video attracted a lot of criticism from police officers, journalists and activists. The Indian Police Service Association denounced the video as communal and irresponsible journalism. The Indian Police Foundation and several other people demanded strict action against Chavhanke.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph said, “At this stage, we have desisted from imposing a prebroadcast interlocutory injunction on the basis of an unverified transcript of a forty- nine second clip.

“We note that under statutory provisions, competent authorities are vested with powers to ensure compliance with law, including provisions of the criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all communities,” the bench said while hearing the petition filed by advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan.

A single-judge bench of the HC Justice Navin Chawla issued a restraint order against the broadcast and also issued notice to the Centre, UPSC, Sudarshan TV and Suresh Chavhanke. The editor had uploaded a trailer for the show on his Twitter handle on August 25, alleging a conspiracy in the “overwhelming” number of Muslim students clearing the UPSC examinations.

The apex court fixed the next date of hearing on September 15. While the high court has given its verdict on this matter, removing the ban from the channel on September 7. Now, further decisions will be taken by the IT ministry to air the show.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.