A three-judge bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph to commence hearing at 12 noon, a plea seeking a ban on the #SudarshanTV's show on the so-called “infiltration of Muslims” in the Civil Services.
The Court on Sep 15 had restrained #SudarshanTV from broadcasting the remaining episodes of its show, till further orders.

"An insidious attempt has been made to insinuate that the community is involved in a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil services", the Court had noted.
Details of the stand of the Central Government and the Sudarshan TV can be read here 👇

#SudarshanNews

theleaflet.in/sudarshan-tv-c…
A group of former civil servants had also moved an application to intervene in order to assist the Court in arriving at a just balance between the freedom of speech and the right of all citizens to equal concern and respect under the Constitution.

theleaflet.in/former-civil-s…
#SudarshanNews has also filed an application seeking live telecast of the Court proceedings of its case.
#SudarshanTV case: Bench has assembled.
Senior advocate Sanjay Hedge is appearing for Zakat Foundation as some 'vague' allegations have been made against it in the affidavit filed by the Editor-in-Chief of #SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud says if Zakat foundation wishes to file an intervention application, it may do so. If it wants to be impleaded in the matter, the court may ask Mr. Divan (senior advocate for Sudarshan TV) to do so.

#SudarshanNews
Sr. Adv Sanjay Hedge, for Zakat Foundation seeks time till Monday to decide whether to file an intervention application in the matter.

#SudarshanNews
Senior advocate Shyam Divan (SD), for Sudarshan TV, commences his arguments.

#SudarshanNews
SD: Editor-in-Chief is not against any particular community. His story is based on a solid background based on investigative journalism.

#SudarshanNews
SD: We are not transgressing any law. We are ready to face any consequences if we have violated any law.

#SudarshanNews
SD: The thrust of the programme is that there appears to be a conspiracy that needs to be investigated by NIA or CBI. It appears that terror linked organizations are funding the Zakat Foundation of India, which in turn is supporting the UPSC aspirants.

#SudarshanNews
SD: #SudarshanNews have no ill will against any community or any individual. It does not oppose the selection of any meritorious candidate in the service of the Union or the States and the same has been clearly stated by the editor during all the shows broadcast so far.
SD: Editor raised the issue of the foreign funding of Zakat Foundation of India and said whether its activities were required to be investigated. The editor is well within his fundamental rights to speak about these issues including on the television channel.

#SudarshanNews
SD: In all the three episodes i.e. 12/13/14.09.2020 a chair was kept vacant for Syed Zafar Mahmood, the founder of Zakat Foundation of India or representative’s participation in the debate.

#SudarshanNews
SD: As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Madina Trust U.K., through deposit in their bank account maintained at Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

#SudarshanNews
SD: As per records of Charity Commission for England and Wales, Dr.Zahid Ali Parvez, Trustee, Madina Trust is also a trustee with the Islamic Foundation.

#SudarshanNews
SD: The Times, UK had reported that two Islamic Foundation trustees were on the UN sanctions list of people associated with banned terror organizations Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

#SudarshanNews
SD: It is the understanding of the Editor that Syed Zafar Mahmood is closely associated with both Mohammed Jafer Hussain Qureshi and Zakir Naik.

#SudarshanTV
SD: As per a report by non-profit research group i.e. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) of United States of America, Zakat Foundation of America’s executive director is Khalil Demir.

#SudarshanNews
SD: Khalil Demir has signed the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 forms for Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) which US Treasury(U.S. Government) found guilty in the year 2002 for funding Al-Qaeda.

#SudarshanTV
SD: In addition to serving Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), Khalil Demir also has worked with the terror-tied Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH).

#SudarshanTV
SD: A 2010 news release on the Turkish charity's relief efforts in earthquake-hit Haiti describes Khalil Demir as an "IHH aid coordinator." The same year, IHH also referred to the Zakat Foundation of America as a "partner institution."

#SudarshanTV
SD: Channel believes it is not a rant without facts. Channel is entitled to project these concerns.

#SudarshanTV
SD: I don't say that point may persuade the audience. But I have a fundamental right to project this both in print and TV.

#SudarshanTV
SD: Journalism is fact-based, the opportunity to respond was given.

#SudarshanTV
SD: Minority community is taking benefit of OBC and minority scheme simultaneously and the same is a political and social issue which is why we are seeking a debate.

#SudarshanTV
SD: If a news channel is raising an objection of Muslims taking benefit of OBC quota, the same cannot be communal and in this country time and again these questions and this debates are in public domain.

#SudarshanTV
SD: In a democratic setup the citizens of the country can always raise a demand from the Parliamentarians to make appropriate laws.

#SudarshanTV
SD: Media is the fourth pillar of the democratic set up and to raise thought-provoking issues is also the constitutional right and duty of the Editor.
SD: Editor had stated from the very beginning of the programme that he should not be judged merely on each episode and all his ten episodes must be seen to understand the perspective which the Editor is trying to project.

#SudarshanTV
SD: It is a matter of fact that as per the scheme of Central Government an amount of Rs.20 crores is spent for support of students clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, and State Public Service Commissions.

#SudarshanTV
SD: The schemes are known as (Nai Udaan and Naya Savera) and are available only to minority communities. The aforesaid scheme has been passed by Central Government budget 2019-20 issued by Ministry of Minority Affairs.

#SudarshanTV
SD: Video clip of a famous political leader and community leader namely Imran Pratapgarhi states as under:-
“If you want to improve the nation and get your rights(Haq lena chahte ho) then you have to capture the bureaucracy (bureaucracy pe kabza karo)......
....and there is no other option only capture the bureaucracy(sirf bureaucracy pe kabza karo)”

#SudarshanTV
Referring to Episode No.3 & 4, Shyam Divan (SD), for Sudarshan TV, submits that Syed Zafar Mahmood titled as 21st Century Kashmiri Renaissance on 28.08.2017 has given a presentation at Islamic University of Science and Technology Awanitipora, Jammu and Kashmir.
SD, for Sudarshan TV, is reading out broad points pertaining to Episode 3 and 4 of the show.

#SudarshanTV
SD: It is amply clear that there is a mechanism existing in place which can be resorted to by the Petitioners and intervenors.

#SudarshanTV
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan(SD) on behalf of #SudarshanTV submits that the show is based on facts and the inferences which can be made. Channel stands by its show.

#SudarshanTV
SD cites Common Cause vs. Union of India reported in 2018(13) SCC Pg.400 in which court, inter-alia, observed there is indeed an existing mechanism on the complaints against media.

#SudarshanTV
SD: There is no law which prescribes prior restraint for a TV show.

#SudarshanTV
SD: It is not necessary for everyone to like what is being projected by a news channel. The fact that some news may make some people uncomfortable is the essence of democracy.

#SudarshanTV
SD: Now that we have already broadcast 4 episodes and that you have an advantage of an explanation on an affidavit, and now our show enters the realm of permissible speech and the broadcast of remaining episodes should be allowed.

#SudarshanTV
SD: We already have robust statutory machinery to take care of complaints regarding defamation, untruth, etc.

#SudarshanTV
SD cites 'Directorate General of Doordarshan & Others vs Anand Patwardhan', 'Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi' in support of his arguments.

#SudarshanTV
SD: One segment of the program appears to suggest that there are exams allowed to be taken in regional languages as well. As far as Urdu is concerned, such exams are higher. We have checked these facts and secured the percentages from reliable sources.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud: I don’t think in a physical court we would have been able to have this kind of focused debate. This is a benefit of technology.

Bench rises for lunch. To assemble again at 2:15 pm.
#SudarshanTV case. The hearing has resumed.
Justice Chandrachud: We are conscious of the fact that a Pre-publication restraint is a matter of importance for a Constitutional Court. We don’t issue such orders readily.

#SudarshanTV
Justice Chandrachud is pointing out the manner in which various statements are made in the programme including how the programme projected the statements made by persons like @asadowaisi with flames in the background.

#SudarshanTV
Justice Chandrachud: Problem lies when you accuse the entire community of being part of a conspiracy. You are free to seek a probe into the affairs of any NGOs and all. Can we allow the targeting of a whole community by the media?

#SudarshanTV
#SudarshanNews
Sr. Adv. Shyam Divan, in response, says Court should look at the program as a whole. The thrust of the program is not to be seen as a tweet or a statement. Should be seen as a whole program. Channel is not against any community.

#SudarshanNews
SD says the nature of the medium that TV is, will require simplification.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud: Whenever you refer to Muslims, you put them in a green T-shirt and with a beard.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud: If we allow the broadcast, then what are the assurances that you are willing to give us?

#SudarshanNews
Justice Indu Malhotra: The flames in the background of the show are problematic. They need to be taken off. We cannot dub the community.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud: We are not the censor board. We want your client to come to us and tell us how he wants to assuage our apprehensions. He may file a personal affidavit.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Indu Malhotra: I saw one of the episodes and it was hurtful to watch. Many pictorials are offensive and need to be taken off.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud: An injunction order from us is like a nuclear missile and we know it. SG tell us how will you bring in self-regulation.

#SudarshanNews
Justice KM Joseph to Sr. Adv Shyam Divan: what would be the consequences of violation of programme code. Can the broadcaster be convicted under section 16 of Cable TV Regulation Act?

#SudarshanNews
Justice Joseph: Apart from Muslims, there are Jains. My law clerk is a Jain. Christian organizations fund their candidates also. Everybody wants to be a part of the power centre. There is nothing wrong with it. You try to marginalize those who should be part of the mainstream.
Justice Joseph: If these people are marginalised, they will be driven into the wrong hands.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Joseph: It is a matter of joy for the nation that Muslims are being selected in the UPSC exams. But you are running a show to run them down.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Joseph: The bottom line is you have maligned an entire community.

#SudarshanNews
Suresh Chavhanke, the Editor-in-Chief, seeks permission to file his personal affidavit in the matter to address the concerns of the Court.

#SudarshanNews
Advocate Shadan Farasat requests the Court to watch episodes 2 and 3 which, according to him, contain hate speech.

#SudarshanNews
Adv Nisha Bhambani for NBA: We also make channels apologise in prime time. We are not toothless. Several SC and HC judgments commend our regulations.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud tells NBA come back a method to strengthen the hands of the NBA so that you have higher regulatory content.

#SudarshanNews
Senior Adv Preetesh Kapur for Press Council of India (PCI) We have a strong code of conduct and newspapers have exercised far more restraint than electronic media. Our code of conduct can be looked into.

#SudarshanNews
Justice Chandrachud asks Adv Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) to make submissions on the jurisdiction of the Court to impose prior restraints.
Bench rises for the day. Matter to be heard on Monday at 2 pm.

#SudarshanNews

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