On Monday (5th October 2020), the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing which was related to the matter of Sudarshan TV to October 26. Due to the outset, SG Tushar Mehta sought a deferment of this hearing. He said that on the 23rd of September, a show-cause notice was issued to Sudarshan TV and a reply was given by the TV channel on 28th September which was granted to them.
There was a petition against Sudarshan TV’s program “UPSC Jihad.” When the matter came up for hearing on September 24, the Centre had told the court that a notice was issued to the channel under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, asking it to show cause why action should not be taken for alleged violation of the Programme Code in the broadcast of the show.
He also said that they have heard the system of an inter-ministerial committee to read thoroughly the statements given in the reply and for that, a committee was set up which had seen four episodes on October 1. The committee is also said to have heard Sudarshan TV and this was also recorded in its minutes. However, the committee is not the decision-making authority and has communicated its recommendation in a report to the Central Government. After considering the recommendations, the central government issued a show-cause notice to Sudarshan TV and the hearing has been scheduled for the day after. Since the hearing was scheduled for the next day, Tushar Mehta requested for grant of time.
The Centre said that the competent authority of the Central government is duty-bound to give one more opportunity to the channel to respond to the IMC’s recommendations. It said the authority will be able to pass any orders only after that.
As the permission for seeking time was valid, Justice Chandrachud considered it and also said that if time wasn’t granted, it would lead to a fiasco. He said that the hearing will be adjourned to 26th October.
It was expressed by Justice Indira Banerjee to grant other members of the bench and the judges muted themselves.