The Supreme Court of India refused to pass an interim order on pleas challenging the ban on the screening of a controversial BBC documentary in India. The documentary, which has been banned by the Indian government, covers the aftermath of the Delhi riots that took place in February 2020.
The bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, issued a notice to the central government seeking its response on the pleas. The bench also observed that the ban imposed on the BBC documentary may have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression.
The ban has been challenged by several human rights activists, journalists, and media organizations, who argue that it goes against the constitutional right to free speech and expression. The petitioners have also stated that the ban is an attempt to suppress the truth and prevent the public from knowing the facts surrounding the Delhi riots.
The Supreme Court has fixed the next hearing on the matter for April 2023. The petitioners have expressed hope that the ban will be lifted and the documentary will be allowed to be screened in India, given the importance of the issue and the public’s right to know.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s decision to issue a notice to the government and not pass an interim order has been seen as a positive development by those who believe in freedom of speech and expression. The case has also drawn attention to the larger issue of media censorship in India.