The matter of ‘banning’ the BBC documentary made on PM Modi on the Gujarat riots has now reached the Supreme Court. The country’s Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has given his response on this issue. He termed the petitions challenging the ban on the documentary as a “waste of the Supreme Court’s precious time”. The Supreme Court will next week consider a petition filed against a government order preventing the sharing of clips of a BBC documentary questioning PM Modi’s leadership during the Gujarat riots.
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Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, “Thus they waste the precious time of Hon’ble Supreme Court where thousands of common citizens are waiting for justice and seeking date.” A documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” has been dismissed by the government as a biased one, along with a ban on sharing its clip on social media. Kanchan Gupta, advisor to the government, said on Twitter, directions were issued to prevent sharing of the clip using the emergency powers available to the government under the IT Rules.
The BBC says the documentary was “deeply researched” and included a range of opinions, including reactions from the BJP. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said the Supreme Court will hear the petitions next week. Advocate ML Sharma has opposed the government’s move in one of the petitions filed in the Supreme Court. A separate petition has been filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, journalist N Ram and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra seeking an order to remove social media links to the documentary.
Several student organizations and opposition parties in the country have organized public screenings of the documentary protesting the ban. In several colleges, students clashed with college officials and the police, and some were briefly detained. PM Modi was exonerated in 2012 after a Supreme Court-supervised probe and a petition questioning his acquittal was dismissed last year. Last week, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs also termed the documentary as propaganda.
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