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Supreme Court to Hear Plea Challenging Ban on Scandalous BBC Documentary

© AFP 2023 SAJJAD HUSSAIN Indian Supreme court in New Delhi
 Indian Supreme court in New Delhi - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.01.2023
Indian government regards the BBC documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects the colonial mindset of its creators.
Requests challenging the use of emergency powers to block the controversial BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” is set to be heard in the Supreme Court of India next Monday (February 6).
The controversial documentary on 2002 Gujarat communal riots has sparked a massive row in the country, with students at several colleges and universities unsuccessfully attempting to screen it on the premises despite government curbs.
An Indian Flag hangs near  the London landmark Big Ben in Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. - Sputnik India, 1920, 29.01.2023
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Separate Public Interest Litigations (PIL) over the blocking of the documentary have been filed by senior advocates M.L. Sharma and C.U. Singh seeking urgent listing. Another petition has been filed by veteran journalist N. Ram, activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, and others.
The bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala have taken note of the submissions and listed the matter for hearing on next Monday.
In his petition, advocate Singh said that the federal government had invoked emergency powers under IT Rules to remove the links about the documentary, but it has not yet formally publicized the blocking order.
He further added that the tweets by N. Ram ad advocate Prashant Bhushan were also taken down while college students in Ajmer were rusticated for screening the documentary.
Meanwhile, advocate Sharma in his petition termed the blocking of the documentary by federal government as “malafide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional,” insisting that the BBC material has “recorded facts,” which are also “evidence” that can be used to further the cause of justice for victims.
A police officer stands guard outside Jama Masjid during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in the old quarters of New Delhi on April 25, 2020. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP) - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.01.2023
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Meanwhile, federal Law Minister Kiren Rijiju slammed the petitioners for “wasting” the court's time.
“This is how they waste the precious time of Hon'ble Supreme Court where thousands of common citizens are waiting and seeking dates for Justice,” he said in a tweet.
Notably, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on January 21 issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial documentary.