A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court against the Centre's decision to 'ban' a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots in the country, alleging it was 'malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional.' The PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma also urged the apex court to call and examine the BBC documentary - both parts I and II - and sought action against persons who were responsible and were involved directly and indirectly with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Sharma said that in his PIL he has raised a constitutional question and the top court has to decide whether citizens have the right under Article 19 (1) (2) to see news, facts and reports on the 2002 Gujarat riots. He has sought direction to quash the order dated January 21, 2023 of the Ministry of the Information and Broadcasting, terming it as illegal, malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional. His plea said whether the central government can curtail freedom of press which is a fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (2) of the Constitution.
"Whether without having an Emergency declared under Article 352 of the Constitution of India by the president, Emergency provisions can be invoked by the central government?" the PIL said. It claimed the BBC documentary has 'recorded facts' which are also 'evidence' and can be used to further the cause of justice for the victims.
On January 21, the Centre issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary 'India: The Modi Question,' according to sources.
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