Supreme Court Condemns Sudarshan News’ UPSC Jihad Program; says to use freedom of speech more responsibly

Hindi News channel Sudarshan News has welcomed a lot of criticism due to showing the entry of Muslim candidates in UPSC as ‘UPSC Jihad’. The show is hosted by the founder Suresh Chavhanke himself and the episode on which the controversy has happened was aired recently. Supreme Court of India completely condemned the program and the news channel. The Court also said that the claims made in the show can create a serious misunderstanding that will gradually result in the decrease of the communal harmony. A bench of three judges was constituted by the Supreme Court of India including DY Chandrachud as the head of the bench.

Chandrachud said that words like UPSC Jihad and targeting a particular community and saying that they are permeating can leave a negative impact on the viewers. He also said that this incident also shows the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in a bad light which will put a question mark on the credibility of the organization. Chandrachud concluded his statement by saying that Sudarshan News is doing great disfavor to the nation.

In revert to DY Chandrachud, Shyam Divan, who was representing the Sudarshan News, said that the program ticked all the boxes in the program code, and nothing disturbing or provoking was said in the program. He also said that he will distribute the copies of the show to let the court know if the program violated the law or not.

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The plea against the program was filed by advocate Firoz Iqbal Khan who mentioned that the program is trying to show a particular community in a bad light. He also said that this type of program can be a reason behind the divide between two communities.

Justice KM Joseph, part of the three-judge bench, inquired Tushar Mehta, solicitor general representing Central Government, to find a way out so that the public can know the revenue model and the pattern of shareholding in the Indian Media houses. He also said that some channels stop the voice of panelists who are not on their anchor’s side which again shows how freedom of speech is crushed in media regularly.

The bench concluded by warning Sudarshan News and told the channel to take advantage of the freedom of speech but without insulting a community. In the previous week, the Supreme Court allowed Sudarshan News to run the program based on this UPSC Jihad thing. On this, the court clearly said that it cannot ban a channel on the basis transcript based on a 49-second clip that too an unverified one.

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