Supreme Court To Hear Pleas Against Ban On BBC Documentary And Removal Of Tweets About Documentary Next Monday
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on February 6, two petitions, one challenging the alleged ban by the Centre on the BBC Documentary "India: The Modi Question" and the other challenging the demand of the Centre to remove tweets of some persons sharing the documentary.
The PIL filed by Advocate ML Sharma challenges the Center's 'ban' on the documentary and also urges Court to examine the Documentary, both parts I and II, and seeks action against persons who were responsible and were involved directly and indirectly with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A petition has also been filed by Journalist N Ram and Advocate Prashant Bhushan and some others challenging the removal of their tweets with links of the BBC Documentary.
The PIL was mentioned by Advocate ML Sharma before the Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala.
“People are being arrested”, said Advocate Sharma.
“You can speak to Social Media from elsewhere. List on Next Monday”, said CJI Chandrachud.
Senior Advocate CU Singh then mentioned that tweets by N Ram and Prashant Bhushan were deleted using emergency powers and that students from Ajmer were suspended for streaming the Documentary. The Court agreed to list that plea along with Sharma's PIL.
Sharma, in his PIL, has sought direction to quash the order dated January 21, 2023, of the Ministry of the Information and Broadcasting, terming it as illegal, malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional.
His plea asks whether the central government can curtail freedom of the press which is a fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (2) of the Constitution.
"Whether without having an Emergency declared under Article 352 of the Constitution of India by the president, Emergency provisions can be invoked by the central government?" the PIL said. It claimed the BBC Documentary has recorded facts which are also evidence and can be used to further the cause of justice for the victims.