PIL filed against use of Emergency power on BBC Documentary: SC to hear on 6th Feb

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The petition challenging the Central Government’s decision to block the BBC documentary series “India: The Modi Question” is to be heard on February 6, 2023, by the Supreme Court. Today, the pleas were presented before the bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice PS Narasimha for oral mentioning. One petition was filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan, Journalist N. Ram, and others and another petitioner was Advocate ML Sharma (serial litigant).

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Advocate Sharma mentioned the urgent listing of the petition before the CJI, he also highlighted that the Centre’s decision to ban the two-part BBC documentary was infact “malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional”. He further added that citizens have the right to see facts, reports, and news related to the 2002 Gujarat riots but the Centre’s ban on the documentary infringed on citizens’ Right to information (under Article 19(1)(a) of the India Constitution).

Another petitioner mentioned that under Information Technology Rules, 2021, the Centre invoked emergency power for removing links or tweets on social media regarding the documentary. The first part of the documentary was regarding the Gujarat riots of 2002 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister.  

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