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BBC Documentary case: SC issues notice to Centre.

Supreme Court has issued a notice to Centre in regards to the pleas against blocking the BBC Documentary.

A number of petitions contesting the government’s decision to restrict public access to a BBC documentary. Which is on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Supreme Court on Friday served notice to the Centre.

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to submit its response within three weeks. After noting that people had been able to see the BBC programme that had been restricted. Additionally, it instructed the Center to submit authentic documents. Mainly pertaining to the directive to delete tweets that contained links to the divisive documentary.

Justices Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh’s bench issued the ruling. After hearing the petitions of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, journalist N Ram, senior attorney Prashant Bhushan, and attorney ML Sharma.

Why was the Documentary banned?

The BBC documentary India: The Modi Question was banned due to “malafide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional” reasons. According to the PIL submitted by attorney ML Sharma. Senior journalist N Ram and attorney Prashant Bhushan filed a second appeal to have tweets containing links to the BBC documentary removed.

The government ordered Twitter and YouTube to restrict links to the documentary “India: The Modi Question” last month. The documentary was derided by the Ministry of External Affairs as a “propaganda work” that lacked objectivity and displayed a colonial mentality.

The BBC’s two-part documentary series claims to have looked into some parts of the religious unrest that broke out in Gujarat when PM Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister. Opposition parties harshly criticised the Centre’s decision to regulate Twitter posts and YouTube videos, calling it “censorship.”

The video, however, was screened on college campuses and in public places throughout several states. In disobedience of the government’s order by student organisations and the youth wings of opposition parties.

Should the ban be there?

When a content is banned, there a lot of questions and criticisms which come forward. Firstly, people question their freedom to watch something. Also, it is problematic to ban something just because the government does not like it. So banning anything can raise a lot more issues rather than just solving the problem.  

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