Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan News Suresh Khanderao Chavhanke.

Centre green signals Sudarshan TV show on Muslim “infiltration” of Civil Services; warns against violating programme code

The Central Government on Wednesday allowed Sudarshan News channel to telecast a show on what the channel termed the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services.

It, however, directed the channel to ensure that the show proposed to be telecast did not violate any programme code. It added action would be taken as per the law if any violation was found.

The channel in its written submission stated before the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that its show was not violative of the law and further that if at all the programme was found to be violative, action as per law could be taken.

The Delhi High Court on August 29 had directed the Centre to decide on the complaints received against the proposed show. It had granted a stay on the show till the Centre took a decision in the matter.

The plea, filed through advocate Shadan Farasat, contended that Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan TV, openly engaged in hate speech and defamation against students of Jamia Milia Islamia and the Muslim community. Chavhanke had claimed that the success of Jamia Milia Islamia students in the Civil Services examination 2020 represented a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil service by Muslims.

The advocate appearing for the Central Government had informed the court it had sought a clarification from the channel after receiving several complaints regarding the programme which was proposed to be broadcast on Sudarshan News TV on August 28 at 8 pm.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court while hearing a similar plea albeit filed by a different petitioner refused to stay the broadcast of the same show. A two-judge bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph said that the court had to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on the publication or the airing of views on the basis of an unverified transcript of a 49-second clip.

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