Delhi HC refuses to interfere with ban on BBC documentary ‘India’s daughter’

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to interfere on the ban on the telecast of controversial BBC documentary “India’s Daughter” on the December 16, 2012 gang rape.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath refused to pass any order to lift the ban imposed by the central government on telecast of the documentary saying the matter is pending before the competent court of law and investigation is still in progress.

The bench disposed of the petitions while leaving it open to the trial court to proceed with the matter by following due process of law.

The court had earlier refused to pass any interim order on the plea against prohibition to telecast the documentary.

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The central government had earlier told the court that the excerpts of documentary contained an interview with one of the convicted rapists of the December 16 gang rape case and his “chauvinistic and derogatory views” regarding women in general and the victim in particular.

The court order came on three public interest litigations (PILs) filed last year for revocation of the ban on the documentary’s telecast.

Banning the telecast of the documentary, the central government had said that the telecast will provide a platform for the convict to use the media to further his own case, especially when his appeal against his conviction is sub-judice.

The appeals of convicts are pending before the Supreme Court, which had put on hold the execution of the four convicts in the case.

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The documentary about the gang rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, who was brutally assaulted on December 16, 2012 in a moving bus in Delhi, had kicked up a storm after one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, was interviewed in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

The documentary also has comments from the convicts’ counsel A.P. Singh and M.L. Sharma, who allegedly made derogatory remarks against women.

The ban on the telecast of the documentary in all formats had caused an uproar in India.

The PILs had said the ban on the documentary was in clear violation of fundamental rights under Article 19 of the Constitution, and sought direction to declare as illegal the act of banning the documentary by the home ministry, the information and broadcasting ministry, and the Delhi Police commissioner.

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The central government had issued an advisory to ban the broadcast of the documentary and the trial court had also banned it until further orders.



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