By- Akshay Gurnani
Advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan, the petitioner in the case, has also cited comments by Madhu Purnima Kishwar and Shantanu Gupta to corroborate allegations of hate speech and comments having been made against the top court.
Rather than addressing the key issues raised in the case and by the Court, Sudarshan News has hosted a show replete with hate speech and critical comments against Supreme Court after it was injuncted from airing more “UPSC Jihad” episodes last week.
Advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan, who moved the petition against the show, has filed a rejoinder informing the same before the Supreme Court, which is due to take up the matter for hearing today.
The rejoinder filed through Advocate on record, V Elanchezhiyan, and settled by Senior Advocate Anoop George Chaudhari states that the show is being misrepresented as an investigative story on the Zakat Foundation of India. The Zakat Foundation has also moved an Intervention Application, alleging that Sudarshan TV has cherry-picked facts to malign the Foundation.
Khan’s rejoinder states that the show wrongly represents Muslims as being part of a grand conspiracy to “capture” the civil services. This “central theme is underscored with imagery, such as flames, blasts, and a man in a and beard, meant to reinforce the message that Muslims.”
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To substantiate its allegations of hate speech and critical comments made against the Supreme Court in the show aired after the Court’s stay, the rejoinder cites comments by Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan news, i.e.:
“Ek hafte mein do• bar stay lagne ka Aaj Sudarshan ke Saath ye gunah Hua hai / Granting stay twice in two days is a sin against Sudarshan Channel.”
Further, the plea refers to comment made by Madhu Purnima Kishwar and Shantanu Gupta on Sudarshan News in the September 15 telecast by the channel after the top court had injuncted it from telecasting the remainder of “UPSC Jihad” episodes.
Supreme Court stated, “The Court has put a question mark on itself. They think it is their right to complete the mission of ghazwa-e-hind. They consider it their right. They understand that the whole nation is converted. They want to occupy public offices by infiltrating it. They have infiltrated the education ministry from the 1st day.”
The issue is that you implicate a whole community as taking over the civil services, Supreme Court to Sudarshan TV in the “UPSC Jihad” matter
“I have seen many times the tendency of the Supreme Court of overstepping. If you want to enjoy politics come out leave your jobs, contest elections. Overstep in your judgments. UPSC Jihad: There is some scam to infiltrate the UPSC. UPSC is creating courses in which it is Urdu and the evaluators also belong to them.”
Expressing objection against the segment that was aired, the petitioner states that Chavhanke’s show was replete with hate speech and messages inciting viewers against the Muslim community.
It is stated that incorrect facts are being aired by Sudarshan TV. In this regard, the rejoinder states that the show says the upper age limit for the Hindus is 32 years whereas for Muslims it is 35 years.
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“The truth is that the age limit of 32 years is for general category candidates, and 35 years is the age limit for reserved category. These are backward classes among Muslims which get the benefit of the OBC category e.g. Hajjams, Nai (barbers}, Quershi (butchers), dhobi, fakir, etc. Whereas amongst the forward classes in Muslims there is Sayyed’s, Mughals, Pathans, Irani, Arab, Bohra, Shia, Khoja, Khucchi Memon, Jamayat, Navayat, etc. These forward classes amongst the Muslims do not. get the benefit of the OBC reservation and have to compete in the general category,”
the rejoinder states.
The rejoinder goes on to emphasize that suggestion of the top Court to allow the remaining broadcast after tailoring episodes to filter out any objectionable content would not undo the effect of the segment already aired. It states that “… any tailoring of future broadcasts will not and cannot condone the blatant violation of the Program Code by Sudarshan News and its complete disregard of the assurance and undertaking given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.”
The rejoinder adds that the channel was not initiating a ‘discussion’ or ‘debate’ on a public affairs issue, but was openly engaging in hate speech and a misinformation campaign to vilify Muslims as a community by seeking to fear-monger that Muslims are increasing in number and are out to exclusively corner the benefits of reservation for themselves.