The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it had issued a fresh show-cause notice to Sudarshan News with regard to the content of their show, Bindas Bol, which accuses Muslims of “infiltrating” the civil services by using terror funding from abroad, The Hindu reported. The government said that proceedings on the basis of the notice would be carried out on Tuesday.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said a notice was issued to Sudarshan News on September 23, and their reply received on September 28, Live Law reported. He said an inter-ministerial committee had been set up on October 1 to watch the show.
Mehta told a bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud that the inter-ministerial committee had watched the episodes of the show. The panel subsequently made some recommendations. The government added that Sudarshan News should be able to be address the suggestions of the panel, NDTV reported.
“Okay...we will grant you time to consider,” Justice Chandrachud told Mehta. “I think it would be better otherwise there will be a lot of fiasco.” The bench agreed to adjourn the matter till October 26.
According to the Cable Television Network Act, no programme that “contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes” can be aired.
On September 16, the Supreme Court had restrained Sudarshan News from airing future episodes of its Bindas Bol show. The top court held that the four episodes telecast by the channel from September 11 to 14 had only indulged in the vilification of Muslims and called its content “rabid” and “insidious”. The channel’s Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke then submitted a 91-page affidavit, arguing that the show was a piece of investigative journalism and said that Sudarshan News had no problem with any individual from any community joining the civil services on merit.