New Delhi: In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the Center has said that if it wanted to regulate the media, then it must first look into digital media before electronic media, stating that the former has more more widespread reach. Also Read - No Coercive Action Against Facebook Chief in Delhi Riots Case Till Oct 15: Supreme Court to Delhi Assembly
Notably, the submission came a day after the top court 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. The affidavit was made in response to petitions filed against the Sudarshan TV. Also Read - Provide Food & Monetary Support Urgently to Starving 1.2 Lakh Sex Workers: SC Directs States
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. Also Read - Sudarshan TV Row: 'Free Speech, Not Hatred,' Supreme Court Says Media Self-regulation System Toothless
The Ministry of Information and Broadcast, in the affidavit submitted on Wednesday, stated that there are sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements in place for electronic media and print media but none for digital media.
While hearing the plea, a top court bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph had Tuesday 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 had said, as reported by NDTV.
The judges had 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.