Delhi HC stays broadcast of Sudarshan TV’s show

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The Delhi High Court has stayed the broadcast of a show of Sudarshan News channel allegedly based on ‘infiltration of Muslims’ in the Civil Services, on a plea filed by students of Jamia Millia Islamia.The stay order has been passed by a single-Bench of Justice Navin Chavla in an urgent hearing. Advocate Shadan Farasat for the petitioners had sought prohibition of the proposed broadcast of a program titled Bindas Bol’ on Sudarshan News, scheduled to be aired at 8 pm on Friday, allegedly containing content that may defame, attack and incite hatred against Jamia Milia Islamia, its alumni and the Muslim community at large. As per the Petitioners, they have seen the trailer of the show, anchored by journalist Suresh Chavhanke, in which Mr. Chavhanke has openly engaged in hate speech and defamation against students of Jamia Milia Islamia and the Muslim community. The petitioners submitted the show claims that the success of Jamia Milia Islamia students in the Civil Services examination 2020 represents a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil service by Muslims. It was submitted that Mr. Chavhanke has openly incited his target non-Muslim audience by fear-mongering that ‘jihadis’ or terrorists from Jamia Milia Islamia would soon hold positions of authority and power like that of Collector and Secretary. It was contended that the proposed broadcast along with the trailer violates the programme code set out under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.
The stay order was passed by a single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla, on a plea filed by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia.The promo of the show shared by the channel’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke with hashtag ‘UPSC Jihad’ has attracted criticism from several quarters. On August 26, Chavhanke had tweeted the trailer of his upcoming show, which he claimed was an “expose” on the “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services.
In the video, he called those passing out of Jamia’s Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) and clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as “Jamia ke Jihadi”.
On Thursday, Jamia Millia Islamia wrote to the Union Education Ministry asking them to take action against Sudarshan News channel and its editor-in-chief Chavhanke for “tarnishing” the image of the university.
Jamia V-C Najma Akhtar told that the university is not likely to go to court over the issue. She also said Chavhanke had given a new “secular definition” of jihadi: “We don’t want to give them too much importance. As far as our students are concerned, 30 students from RCA were selected this time out of which 16 are Muslims and 14 are Hindus. Since they were all called jihadis, it means 16 were Muslim jihadis and 14 others were Hindu jihadis. India has been given a new secular definition of jihadis.”

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