SC agrees to hear PIL challenging Centre’s decision to ‘block’ BBC documentary
The Supreme Court on January 30 agreed to hear petitions challenging the blocking of the BBC documentary India- The Modi Question on February 6.
The pleas came up for oral mentioning before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.
A petition has been filed by senior journalist N. Ram, advocate Prashant Bhushan. A separate petition has also been filed by advocate M.L. Sharma.
Senior advocate C.U. Singh, for Mr. Ram and Mr. Bhushan, orally submitted that their tweets were taken down after invoking emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules. However, the formal blocking order is not in the public domain.
Mr. Singh said students who have watched the documentary, critical of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the background of the 2002 riots, have been suspended at Rajasthan Central University in Ajmer.
Mr. Sharma has argued that blocking the public viewership of the two-part documentary was ‘malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional’ and a violation of fundamental right of free speech.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued orders to block multiple YouTube videos of the first episode of the BBC documentary as well as more than 50 tweets linking to the videos. Opposition leaders have accused the government of imposing censorship through its orders.
The directions were reportedly issued by I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra on January 20, using emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules, 2021.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.thehindu.com feed.)
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