Justice DY Chandrachud minced no words on Friday when he made scathing observations on the sorry state of affairs surrounding the irresponsible broadcast by the Indian TV channels. Hearing a petition against the Islamophobic broadcast by Sudarshan TV, Justcie Chandrachud said, “Let a message go to media that a particular community cannot be targeted.”
Justice Chandrachud continued, “We have to look after a nation of the future which is cohesive and diverse… As judges, we are also concerned about national security. But, we have to protect human dignity as well.”
Justice Chandrachud also pointed out the toothless nature of the NBA, the regulatory body comprising the representatives from the TV channels that it intends to regulate. He said, “The NBA says they have a committee headed by a retired SC judge. They can impose a maximum fine of 1 lac fine and this shows how toothless you are. But the NBA is only for members, so Sudarshan News not being a member is not governed by the NBA.”
“See the obvious deficiency of the self-regulatory body when it itself is saying that all channels are not its members. I understand the reluctance of the government to expand this controversy,” Livelaw quoted Justice Chandrachud as saying.
Pro-Hindutva Sudarshan TV had broadcast a series of hate speech accusing the Muslim community of infiltrating the civil services as if aspiring to join the civil services was a crime. The Delhi High Court had first stayed its broadcast, but the Centre’s Narendra Modi government allowed the telecast.
Justice Chandrachud: See the obvious deficiency of the self-regulatory body when it itself is saying that all channels are not its members. I understand the reluctance of the government to expand this controversy.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 18, 2020
The decision by the central government to allow Sudarshan TV’s Islamophobic broadcast to go ahead came under criticism from the Supreme Court judges. The Bench asked if the Information and Broadcasting ministry had cared to apply its mind to the hateful nature of the programmes broadcast by Sudarshan TV.
Justice Chandrachud: It is easy for us to intervene but the fear can we intervene in all cases like these.. question is creating a systemic framework for judicial intervention.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 18, 2020
Justice Chandrachud, according to Bar and Bench, said, “It is easy for us to intervene but the fear can we intervene in all cases like these.. question is creating a systemic framework for judicial intervention.”
He added, “An injunction order from us is like a nuclear missile and we know it. You, SG (Solicitor General Tushar Mehta), tell us how will you bring in self-regulation. You have to give them teeth.”
The hearing will now resume on Monday.