The Delhi High Court today sought the government’s response on a plea to immediately halt all future episodes of a TV series ‘Fatah Ka Fatwa’, alleging that it promoted enmity between communities.
A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said that the parties involved should ensure that an affidavit is filed on their behalf within four weeks.
It asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to state whether there was any substance in the allegation made by the petitioner and fixed the matter for further hearing on September 19.
Earlier it had issued notice to a television channel, which was airing the programme, seeking its response.
The court issued the direction during the hearing of a public interest litigation by Uttar Pradesh resident Hifzur Rehman Khan, who alleged that the TV programme hosted by Tarek Fatah, a Canadian social media celebrity of Pakistani origin, was trying to promote enmity between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country by giving “baseless arguments about religion”.
Asking the court to seize all materials relating to the programme, the PIL has urged that the authorities concerned be asked to frame guidelines for telecast of such TV shows, alleging that the host “placed misleading facts” on television. ‘Fatah Ka Fatwa’ was first aired on January 7.
Fatah has lately gained huge popularity among Hindutva supporters in India because of his incessant attack of Islam and Indian Muslims.
Many suspect him to be an ISI agent working at the behest of the Pakistani intelligence service to destabilise India by causing religious fissures.
Janta Ka Reporter had reported at least two old videos, where Fatah was seen either abusing India or wishing for India’s disintegration.
When cornered, Fatah is known for resorting to abuses and violence. He had physically assaulted Congress’s Shehzad Poonawalla during the TV debate when he sought to expose his lies.
Fatah, was beaten up by students from Panjab University, after he reportedly called a Sikh student ‘Khalistani’ and referred to a Muslim student from Jammu and Kashmir as a ‘terrorist.’
He was invited there to deliver a TedX talk on Balochistan, when the fracas took place.
(With PTI inputs)