Last Updated: January 30, 2023, 16:41 IST
On January 21, the Centre issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary. (File photo/Twitter)
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also trashed the BBC documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset
Hitting out at those who moved to the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision to block a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday held the petitioners responsible for “wasting the precious time of the apex court.”
On Twitter, he responded to a news report and said, “This is how they waste the precious time of Hon’ble Supreme Court where thousands of common citizens are waiting and seeking dates for Justice.”
This is how they waste the precious time of Hon’ble Supreme Court where thousands of common citizens are waiting and seeking dates for Justice. https://t.co/5kouG8Px2K— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) January 30, 2023
Veteran journalist N Ram, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan and others have moved the top court challenging the central government’s decision to block the documentary named “India: The Modi Question” on social media.
A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on Monday took note of the submissions of lawyer ML Sharma and senior advocate CU Singh, appearing for N Ram and Bhushan, seeking urgent listing of their separate PILs on the issue.
The PIL 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 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 a direction to quash the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s order of January 21 terming it as “illegal, malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional”.
The plea claimed the BBC documentary has “recorded facts” which are also “evidence” and can be used to further the cause of justice for the victims.
However, several opposition parties have slammed the government’s action and said they would oppose any censorship. Several student outfits, including those affiliated to the Congress and the Left, have since organised screenings of the documentary in a number of universities, leading to clashes at some places. The RSS student wing ABVP has been opposing the screening of the film.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also trashed the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.
(with inputs from PTI)
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