SC To Hear Plea Against Blocking BBC’s Modi Documentary On Feb 6

| Updated: January 30, 2023 3:27 pm

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear petitions challenging the Center’s decision to block a BBC documentary – ‘India: The Modi Question’ on February 6, 2023.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, and senior advocate C U Singh took note of the submissions of lawyer M L Sharma and senior advocate C U Singh seeking urgent listing of their separate PILs on the issue. 

At the start of the proceedings, lawyer Sharma, who filed a PIL in his personal capacity, mentioned the plea, saying that people were being arrested.  “It will be listed on Monday,” the CJI said. 

Senior advocate C. U. Singh mentioned a separate plea on the issue filed by veteran journalist N Ram and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan to which the top court has agreed to listen.

He mentioned how the tweets by Ram and Bhushan were deleted allegedly by using emergency powers.  He also said that students in Ajmer were rusticated for streaming the BBC documentary. “We will list,” the CJI said. 

Lawyer Sharma filed the PIL against the Center’s decision to block the documentary alleging it was “mala fide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional.” 

The PIL also urged the apex court to call and examine the BBC documentary — both parts I and II — and sought action against persons who were responsible for and involved directly and indirectly with the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

On January 21, the Center issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary India: The Modi Question, according to sources.

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