SC refused to urgently hear pleas challenging BBC docu bantext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has rejected the plea to urgently hear the petitions filed challenging the ban on the BBC's documentary 'India: The Modi Question', which implicates Prime Narendra Modi in the Gujarat genocide.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh adjourned the matter to April. Commenting that people are still getting the BBC documentary, the bench clarified that it would not issue any interim orders without hearing the Union government. A notice was then sent to the government seeking a reply to the petitioners, and the court said that the Centre should produce the original records in connection with its order on the documentary on the next date of hearing in April.
There were two petitions listed before the court on Friday. The first one was the joint petition filed by former editor of 'The Hindu' newspaper N Ram, Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma had filed a separate petition in this regard.
When the counsel for the petitioners submitted that it was a case where the Centre invoked the emergency powers under the IT Rules to block the documentary, the bench asked the counsel, "Why should you not go to the high court first?"
When the petitioner's counsel replied that the apex court had transferred to itself the petitions pending in the high court challenging the IT Rules and urged the bench to grant interim relief in the matter, the bench said it is not considering that aspect at the present juncture and orally observed that people have been accessing the documentary.
Earlier, The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, agreed that the petition could be heard on an urgent basis and on Friday handed it over to a bench comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and MM Sundaresh for consideration.