PIL challenging Central govt ban on BBC documentary filed in SCtext_fields
New Delhi:The decision by the Center to "ban" a BBC documentary about the riots in Gujarat in 2002 has been challenged in court, according to a PIL, on the grounds that it was "malafide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional."
The PIL submitted by lawyer ML Sharma also urged the supreme court to review parts I and II of the BBC programme and called for punishment against those who were accountable for and participating in the Gujarat riots of 2002.
Sharma said that in his PIL he has raised a constitutional question and the top court has to decide whether citizens have the right under Article 19 (1) (2) to see news, facts and reports on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
He 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 said 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.
On January 21, the Centre issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question", according to sources.
With PTI inputs