Centre’s ban on controversial BBC documentary was challenged by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and advocate Prashant Bhushan in Surpreme Court. Taking note of the petitions filed before SC, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stated that such petitions were utter waste of time of the judiciary, while thousands of ordinary citizens in the country awaited justice and speedy trial.
Kirren Rijuju: Petition on Controversial BBC documentary: Utter waste of Time
BBC documentary was banned by the Centre on January 21 stating that series was biased and lopsided reporting. The series was critical of Gujarat leadership under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, during 2002 riots.
On Twitter Rijuju wrote,
“This [the petitions] is how they waste the precious time of Hon’ble Supreme Court where thousands of common citizens are waiting and seeking dates for justice.”
Petition filed by senior journalist N Ram, advocate Prashant Bhushan and TMC’s Mahua Moitra referred to Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution , and stated that citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression had been challenged by prohibiting the airing of the BBC’s controversial ‘India: The Modi Question’.
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According to Minstry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of External Affairs , the BBC documentary was a propaganda to promote anti India agenda.
I & B Ministry spokesman stated
“The BBC’s vile propaganda was found to be undermining the sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign countries as also the public order within the country,”
Move condemned by critics
The move to ban documentary has been condemned by critics as they perceived it as an infringement of their human rights.
Meanwhile students in various Universities screened the banned documentary. In the meantime, Indian diaspora in United Kingdom protested outside BBC Headquarters in London and shared their concerns about BBC’s narrative which has the potential to create a rift between Hindu and Muslim communities.
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