In the latest judgment, the Supreme Court made some strong oral remarks taking objection to the show telecast by Sudarshan TV News about the entry of Muslims into the All India Services after clearing the UPSC Exams.
Justice Chandrachud observed that “this program was so insidious to the citizens form a particular community who go through the same examinations and get interviewed by the same panel. It also casts aspersions on the UPSC examination. How do we deal with these issues? Can this be tolerated?”
A petition was filed against the telecast of the show hosted by the channel’s Chief Editor Mr. Suresh Chavhanke, which was initially proposed on August 28, on the ground that it was communalizing the entry of Muslims into UPSC.
A bench comprising of Justices Chandrachud, KM Joseph, Indu Malhotra, told the channel’s counsel, that on the resumption of the hearing at 2.45 PM, he shall have to tell the court what he is planning to do. They also reflected upon the ramifications of how Electronic media can be used as a tool to threaten national security and stability and pondered upon the need for putting forth regulations.
The petitioner submitted that the airing of views in the course of the programme would violate the Programme Code enumerated under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, together with the Code of Ethics and News Broadcasting Standards Regulations.
This interpretive task before this Hon’ble Court, therefore, is to distinguish between speech that is merely offensive, indecorous, or in bad taste and therefore covered by Article 19(1)(a) and hate speech that is rightly penalized by Articles 153A & B and the other provisions pointed out above.