New Delhi, September 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained Suresh Chavhanke's Sudarshan TV channel from telecasting more episodes of its show 'UPSC Jihad', which focuses on how Muslims have "infiltrated" the Indian civil service, till further orders. The apex court prima facie observed that the objective of Sudarshan TV's 'UPSC Jihad' show is to vilify Muslims. 'UPSC Jihad': IPS Association, Officers Condemn Sudarshan TV For News Report Targeting Muslim Candidates.

"It appears to the court that object of the program is to vilify the Muslim community and make it responsible for an insidious attempt to infiltrate the civil services," Justice DY Chandrachud said while ordering an interim stay on further episodes of 'UPSC Jihad' show till the top court's final verdict. The court was hearing a plea against the programme. The hearing in the matter will continue. Kanpur Police Forms SIT to Probe 'Love Jihad' Cases.

"Edifice of a stable democratic society and observance of constitutional rights and duties is based on coexistence of communities. Any attempt to vilify a community must be viewed with disfavour," Justice Chandrachud remarked. "Episodes broadcasted till now show nature and objective of the program. Pending further orders of the court Sudarshan news stands injuncted from making any more broadcasts on this subject on any other name too," he added.

Earlier today, the top court said that India is a melting pot of diverse cultures and there should be some kind of self-regulation in the media, and the journalists should be fair in their debates. "Your client is doing a disservice to the nation by not accepting that India is a melting pot of diverse cultures. Your client needs to exercise his freedom with caution," the court told Sudarshan TV's counsel.

Criticising the show further, the apex court said the programme also casts aspersions on the UPSC civil services examination and its subject is insinuating. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, representing Sudarshan TV, submitted that the channel says that the programme is an investigative story on national security.

"Journalists believe that he has tied the strings together to show that there is foreign funding. He may be right or wrong but that needs to be decided. The statutory authority needs to see the clips and decide,  this court cannot sit on the place of statutory authority," Divan argued. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the freedom of journalists is supreme and it would be disastrous for any democracy to control the Press.

Earlier, the apex court had declined to impose a pre-broadcast ban on the show, and issued notice to the Centre. The petitioners had argued that the programme content would stoke communal tensions.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 15, 2020 04:48 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website