The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the broadcast of the subsequent five episodes of ‘UPSC Jihad’ by Sudarshan TV, stating that the intent and purpose of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community. Also Read - AAP's Raghav Chadha Tears Up Slum Demolition Notice, Says Will Move Supreme Court Against Centre
For the uninformed, Sudarshan News had posted a teaser for a news show to be aired on August 28, called ‘UPSC Jihad’ which claimed that there was a conspiracy among Muslims to ‘infiltrate’ the civil services, triggering a social media uproar.
While hearing the plea, a top court bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph said that India is a melting pot of diverse cultures and there should be some kind of self-regulation in the media, and the journalists should be fair in their debates.
“It appears that the object of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community and make it responsible for an insidious attempt to infiltrate the civil services… You cannot target one community and brand them in a particular manner, ” the top court said, as reported by NDTV.
However, senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Sudarshan TV, insisted that the show was investigative journalism raising valid issues concerning national security.
“How rabid is this programme that one community is entering into civil services,” the bench observed while pointing out that such shows make people switch off their TVs.
The judges also noted that the said programme contained factually incorrect statements with regard to the upper age and the number of attempts Muslim candidates get in UPSC exams.
The bench said that pending further orders from the court, Sudarshan TV is restrained from telecasting the show. The petitioners, who had moved the top court against the broadcast of the show, contended that it fell in the realm of hate speech.
(With IANS inputs)