New Delhi: The Supreme Court will today take up the appeals challenging the centre’s decision to block the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The lead appeal was filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, veteran journalist N Ram and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking a direction to restrain the centre from curbing their right to “receive and disseminate information” on the two-part series. Advocate CU Singh, appearing for the three petitioners, said the centre had invoked emergency powers under IT Rules to remove the links to the documentary from social media.
Another appeal was filed by advocate ML Sharma, calling the centre’s ban on the documentary “malafide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional”.
A Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh will hear the two requests.
The descriptor of the BBC’s two-part series calls it a “look at tensions between Indian PM Narendra Modi and India’s Muslim minority, investigating claims about his role in the 2002 riots that left over a thousand dead.”
The centre has called the documentary a “propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative”. On January 21, it asked Twitter and YouTube to take down the links of the controversial documentary.