ANI Photo | SC dismisses PIL seeking complete ban on BBC operations in India

The Supreme Court on February 10 dismissed a PIL seeking complete ban on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and BBC India from operating from Indian territory in wake of airing the documentary titled, ‘India: The Modi Question’ relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice MM Sundresh said that the plea was misconceived and the court cannot impose censorship.

“Completely misconceived, how can this be argued also? You want us to put complete censorship… What is this?” the bench asked from the petitioner’s counsel.

Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta sought a ban on BBC operations in India alleging that it was taking an “anti-India” position.

The PIL also sought direction from the NIA to initiate a probe against the anti-India and anti-Indian-government reporting/documentary films/short films including its employee journalist in India and to submit an inquiry report before the apex court.

The PIL said a recent BBC documentary on prime minister is a “result of deep conspiracy against global rise of India and its prime minister Narendra Modi.”

Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre and sought its response on pleas seeking direction to restrain the Central government from censoring the BBC documentary relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

UK’s BBC two-part series attacking PM Modi’s tenure as Gujarat chief minister during the Gujarat riots of 2002 sparked outrage and was removed from select platforms.

As per the sources, on January 21, the Centre issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary.

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