On 29 August 2020 the Delhi High Court while considering the stay vacation application made on behalf of the Sudarshan News Channel, disposed of the Writ Petition No. 5792/2020, seeking ban on telecast of “Bindas Bol” show which claimed to be an “expose” on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services. The Court has directed that till decision is taken by the Central Government on the show cause notice issued, the Channel shall not telecast/transmit the programme ‘Bindas Bol’ that was scheduled to be transmitted /telecasted on 28.08.2020 at 8.00 p.m.;
Earlier on 28 August the Delhi High Court stayed the broadcast of the show in question, however hours before the passing of the Stay Order by the Delhi High Court, while considering another plea filed before the Supreme Court, the bench of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice K.M. Joseph refused to impose a pre-broadcast interlocutory injunction on the basis of an unverified transcript of a forty nine second clip.
While disposing off the Writ Petition the Court has observed-
“Prima facie, I find the same to be in violation of the Programme Code set out under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’).”
Considering the fact that the Central Government is already ceased of the matter and has issued show cause notice to the channel, the Delhi High Court disposed off Writ petition with following directions:
- The respondent nos. 3 and 4 shall file their reply to the Notice with the Central Government. The learned counsel for the respondent nos.3 and 4 submits that the reply will be filed by 01.09.2020;
- The Central Government shall decide on its Notice within 48 hours of the receipt of the reply from the respondent nos.3 and 4, after giving them an opportunity of hearing in this regard;
- The Central Government shall decide on the Notice remaining uninfluenced by any observations made by this Court in the present order.
- Either party shall be entitled to challenge the order passed by the Central Government, if aggrieved thereby, in accordance with law.
- Till such decision by the Central Government, the respondent nos.3 and 4 shall not telecast/transmit the programme ‘Bindas Bol’ that was scheduled to be transmitted/telecasted on 28.08.2020 at 8.00 p.m.;