‘Cannot Impose Censorship’, SC Junks Hindu Sena Plea Seeking Ban on BBC

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NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a PIL filed by Hindu Sena seeking a ban on the BBC for airing the documentary, ‘India: The Modi Question’ on the 2002 Gujarat riots.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the court cannot impose censorship and the plea was misconceived.

The bench, also comprising Justice M.M. Sundresh, queried senior advocate Pinky Anand, representing the petitioner, “Completely misconceived, how can this be argued also? You want us to put complete censorship…”

The counsel urged the bench to hear the petitioner. The bench said, “What is this (the petition)?” The counsel pressed that matter should be heard.

The court also declined a request by Anand to tag the petition with a pending joint petition by journalist N. Ram, advocate Prashant Bhushan and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and another one by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

Earlier, this month the top court, acting on pleas of N.Ram and others, had asked the Centre to produce original records related to its decision to block the BBC documentary on PM Modi.

Dismissing the plea, the top court said, “Let us not waste any more time, Writ is entirely misconceived. it has no merit…”

Anand urged the bench to examine the background in which India has become powerful with its rise as economic power and also a man of Indian origin has become UK Prime Minister.

However, the top court asked how she could argue all these in support of her plea for a ban on the BBC.

The Centre has banned the documentary on social media and online channels though it has been screened in various colleges and universities across the country.

The plea filed by Vishnu Gupta, president of Hindu Sena, and others, contended that the petitioner had made a representation to the Centre in January to ban the network, but no action has been taken till date.

The plea contended that the BBC has been a mouthpiece of those who targeted India to dent its image. — IANS

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