The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing in the Sudarshan TV case till 21 September. The court was hearing a plea against the series which targeted members of the Muslim community who join India’s civil services.
During the hearing on Friday, Justice DY Chandrachud said that the issue is the show implicates a whole community as taking over the civil services.
“You want to say that Muslims joining civil services is a part of a deep rooted conspiracy. Can the media be allowed to target whole sets of communities?” he asked, according to Bar and Bench.
Justice Chandrachud asked senior advocate Shyam Divan, who was appearing for Sudarshan TV, what will be done to assuage the court’s concerns if the broadcast is allowed.
It had restrained the channel on Tuesday from telecasting the the next segment of the show, saying that the intent of the episodes prima facie appeared to vilify the Muslim community.
“Let a message go to media that a particular community cannot be targeted. We have to look after a nation of the future which is cohesive and diverse. We recognise national security but we need to respective individual respect too,” Bar and Bench quotes Justice Chandrachud as saying.
Justice KM Joseph said, “you have put up a cocktail of various factors but at the bottom you are maligning an entire community.”
In an affidavit filed on Thursday, Suresh Chavhanke, Editor-in-Chief of the channel, sought lifting of the stay from airing the remaining six episodes and said that there was no justification to continue the pre-telecast/prior restraint direction.
Centre has also filed an affidavit in the matter and said if the Supreme Court decides on the issue of media regulation then such an exercise should be undertaken with the digital media first as it has faster reach and information has the potential to go viral due to applications like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, PTI reported.
The government told the apex court that sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements exist for the electronic and the print media.
(With PTI inputs)