New plea in Sudarshan News case seeks SC help to ‘stem menace of hate speech’ by TV anchors

A fresh intervention application in the Sudarshan News case was filed in the Supreme Court Thursday by Sangeeta Tyagi, wife of Congress spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi who died after a TV debate on 12 August, and political scientist Kota Neelima.

The plea draws the court’s attention to the “menace of hate speech” in TV debates. It seeks “appropriate” and “remedial” directions from the top court to “stem, quell and restrict” the menace of hate speech by TV anchors till the time an appropriate legislation is framed in this regard.

The petition comes a day after a three-judge bench, led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, adjourned the hearing of a batch of petitions against the telecast of the channel’s controversial series ‘Bindas Bol’ that claims to expose an “infiltration of Muslims” in the civil services.

The court’s order came after the central government informed that the channel violated the Programme Code under the Cable TV Act and a show-cause notice has been issued to it.

According to the notice issued by Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Sudarshan News has time till 28 September to respond. The top court is scheduled to hear the matter on 5 October.

The channel had earlier defended the use of terms such as “UPSC jihad” in its Bindas Bol series, claiming that the programme was an investigative report on the alleged infiltration by Muslims in the civil services.

Four episodes of the Bindas Bol series had already been aired before the apex court, on 15 September, blocked its telecast. There are 10 episodes left to be aired.

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