The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said in an order dated November 4 that private news channel Sudarshan TV, through its broadcast of the show Bindas Bol — UPSC Jihad violated the programme code, but allowed it to continue to telecast the remaining episodes of the show with “modifications”.
Four episodes of the show have already been telecast. The show’s episodes alleged that Muslims were “infiltrating government services”, among other false claims. The I&B Ministry said, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, that the show was not “in good taste, offensive and has a likelihood of promoting communal attitude.”
The show on Sudarshan TV had caused outrage and on September 15, the Supreme Court had stayed the airing of the other episodes calling it an “attempt to vilify Muslims”.
PTI quoted the Centre saying in the affidavit, “After taking into consideration the written and oral submissions of the channel and the findings and recommendations of the IMC, the ministry is of the opinion that while freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right, the tone and tenor of the episodes telecast do indicate that the channel has, through the various utterances and audio-visual content, breached the programme code. The ministry finds that they are not in good taste, offensive and has a likelihood of promoting communal attitude.”
The Centre had issued a show-cause notice to the channel on September 23.
“The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, after examining all facts and circumstances of the case and balancing the fundamental rights of the broadcasters, hereby ‘cautions’ Sudarshan TV Channel Ltd to be careful in future. It is further directed that if any violation of the programme code is found in future, stricter penal action would be taken,” PTI quoted the affidavit as saying.
The ministry said the telecast of the remaining episodes of the programme would be subject to the order of the apex court in the pending matter.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud is on Thursday scheduled to hear pleas that objected to the airing of the programme.