Ministry of information & broadcasting has served notices to three leading news channels for what it terms was showing disrespect to the judiciary and the President of India, reports Indian Express.
These channels are NDTV 24×7, ABP News and Aajtak. These news channels, according to the government are accused of airing content, disrespectful to the President of India and judiciary on the day Bombay Blasts accused Yakub Memon was hanged.
Both Aajtak and ABP had carried interviews of underworld don Chhota Shakeel, while NDTV ran an interview with Yakub’s lawyer. In his telephone interview, Chhota Shakeel claimed that justice had not been delivered to Memon and how four mercy pleas were rejected in one single day, the lawyer NDTV interviewed had said how many countries in the world had done away with the death penalty.
The government notice to these channels quote at least three sections, 1(d), 1(e) and 1(g) of Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.
Section 1(d) says no programme containing “obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths” should be broadcast, while according to section 1(e), no programme should be carried in the cable service which is “likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes. ” Section 1(g) prevents news channels from carrying content which “contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary.”
This is the first time the NDA government headed by Narendra Modi has served notices to news channels since taking over the government more than a year ago.
These channels have asked to file their response within 15 days explaining why no action should be initiated against them.
Yakub Memon was hanged on 30 July after his final mercy petition was rejected by the President. He then filed a plea in Supreme Court requesting for 14-day hanging rule to be applied in his case. But, in a historic session, Supreme Court heard his case at 3 am in the morning before rejecting his plea. Two hours later, he was sent to gallows in Nagpur jail.
His dead body was handed over to his family in Mumbai, where thousands of people had turned up for his funeral prayers.