New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the broadcast of the subsequent five episodes of "UPSC Jihad" by Sudarshan TV, stating that the intent and purpose of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community.
A top court bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph said: "Edifice of a stable democratic society is based on coexistence of communities."
The top court emphasised that any attempt to vilify a community must be viewed with disfavour, adding that India is a melting pot of civilisations, cultures and values.
The bench noted that the said programme contained factually incorrect statements with regard to the upper age and the number of attempts Muslim candidates get in UPSC exams.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the TV channel, argued that there is no change in its position from August 28 when the top court declined to impose a pre-broadcast order.
Divan insisted that the show was investigative journalism raising valid issues concerning national security. The petitioners, who had moved the top court against the broadcast of the show, contended that it fell in the realm of hate speech.
The bench said that pending further orders from the court, Sudarshan TV is restrained from telecasting the show.
On August 28, while hearing a petition against the show the Court had declined to grant a pre-broadcast ban order on the programme, whereas the Delhi High Court temporarily stayed the broadcast of the show and issued a notice to the channel.
A single-judge bench passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by certain students of Jamia Millia Islamia that sought prohibition of the proposed broadcast of the programme titled 'Bindas Bol' on Sudarshan TV news channel on Friday.
"The court has to be circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or the airing of views. We note that under statutory provisions, competent authorities are vested with powers to ensure compliance with law, including provisions of the criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all communities," the bench said then.