Supreme Court dismisses Hindu Sena petition seeking to ban the BBC in India

The petition, by Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta, argued that the BBC’s documentary on the PM — blocked by the government — was intended to surreptitiously disturb peace and national integrity

Updated - February 10, 2023 11:04 pm IST

Published - February 10, 2023 01:28 pm IST - New Delhi

Supreme Court of Inida.

Supreme Court of Inida. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta, seeking to ban the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in India and order an investigation into the broadcaster, its employees and their “anti-India and anti-Indian government” reportage and films.

A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and M.M. Sundresh said that the petition was “absolutely misconceived”.

Senior advocate Pinky Anand, for the petitioner, pointed out that the the BBC documentaryIndia: The Modi Question — which has been blocked on the government’s orders — was timed to create “anti-India propaganda” at a time when India was a rising economic power. “Today you have a position, when you have an Indian as the British Prime Minister. India is rising as an economic power,” it was argued.

“What is this? Do you want us to put in place a complete censorship?” the Bench reacted.

The petition claimed that the BBC film was intended to surreptitiously disturb the peace and national integrity of the country which had led to “India’s overall growth since 2014 under the Prime Ministership of Sh. Narendra Modi”. It said that an “anti-India lobby and media, particularly the BBC”, cannot digest the nation’s growth and seemed to be biased. A representation to the Home Ministry on January 27 has so far not yielded a response, the petitioner said.

The court said that there was no merit in the petition and rejected it.

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