SC Issues Notice to Centre on Pleas Challenging Blocking of Documentary on PM Modi

NEW DELHI: The SC has issued a notice to the Centre directing it to produce the original record of its decision to take down tweets circulating links to the controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi. A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh gave three weeks’ time for the Centre to file its response and placed the matter for hearing in April. 

“We are issuing notices. Counter affidavit be filed within three weeks. Rejoinder within two weeks after that,” the bench said.

The apex court was dealing with two petitions, one was filed by Journalist N Ram, TMC leader Mahua Moitra and advocate Prashant Bhushan, the other plea was filed by Advocate M L Sharma.

The petition had sought quashing of “all orders directly or indirectly censoring” the information including those shared on social media. The plea claimed that the BBC documentary has “recorded facts” which are also “evidence” and can be used to further the cause of justice for the victims.

On Jan 20, YouTube and Twitter were ordered to take down links sharing the documentary with officials saying it has been found to be ‘undermining the sovereignty and integrity of India” and has “the potential to adversely impact” the country’s “friendly relations with foreign states” and “public order within the country”.

The documentary focuses on the riot that took place in Gujarat during the rule of Modi as the Chief Minister of the state.

The matter is listed next for hearing in April.

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