A Ministry of Information and Broadcasting order placed on record in the Supreme Court on November 18 said Sudarshan TV’s Bindas Bol - UPSC Jihad programme is “not in good taste, offensive and has the likelihood of promoting communal attitudes”. But the Ministry order does not expressly stop the channel from telecasting further episodes.
Bindas Bolaccuses Muslims of “infiltrating” the civil services with the help of funding from terror-linked organisations abroad.
The Ministry order only says that the programme’s audio and visual content should be “suitably moderated, modified”. The Ministry “cautions” the channel to be “careful” and promises “stricter penal action” in case of further violations.
The order, accompanied by a three-page affidavit, was filed by the government on November 18. The court will hear the case on November 19.
“While freedom of expression is a fundamental right, the tone and tenor of the episodes telecast do indicate that the channel has through the various utterances and audio visual content breached the Programme Code,” the order said.
The Ministry gives a series of directions for future telecast, including that the content aired should not offend good taste or decency.
The channel was asked to avoid “attacks on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes”.
The Ministry said programmes should not contain “anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths”. Neither should it incite violence nor promote “anti-national attitudes”.
Any content which “criticise, malign, slander any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social public and moral life of the country” should be avoided.
Lastly, the Ministry said the channel should take care to keep out visuals or words which “reflect a slandering ironical and snobbish attitude in the portrayal of certain ethnic, linguistic and regional groups”.
The order said the channel should comply and report back to the Ministry before the telecast.
The court stayed the further telecast of the programme episodes on September 15. Four episodes had already been telecast by the time the court had issued the injunction.