Indian SC rejects plea to ban BBC coverage

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Friday dismissed a petition filed by the Hindu Sena president requesting a ban on British Broadcasting Corporation‘s (BBC) coverage in the country and an investigation into the broadcaster’s “anti-India” rhetoric in reporting and films.
The BBC documentary revolves around Modi who was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when it was gripped by riots that left more than 1,000 people dead — most of them Muslims. The violence erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59.
Accused of failing to stop the rioting, Modi had denied the accusations and was exonerated in 2012 following an in-quiry by India’s top court. Another petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed last year.
According to details, a two-judge bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh rejected today the peti-tion filed by Vishnu Gupta, terming it as “absolutely misconceived” and bearing “no merit”.
The report stated that the petitioner’s counsel Pinky Anand contended that the timing of the BBC documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” aimed to create “anti-India” propaganda at a time when the country was rising as an eco-nomic power.

It added that the petition pointed out that India was in such a position today that the British prime minister was also an Indian.

The report further said the Indian top judges questioned the petitioner’s counsel, asking: “What is this? Do you want us to put in place complete censorship?”

The petition stated the BBC film was “surreptitiously” intended to disturb India’s peace and national integrity, adding that the country had witnessed growth under Modi’s leadership since 2014. –Agencies