In at least three instances courts have sought Action Taken Reports (ATR) in cases filed against Sudarshan TV News Editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke who is notorious for his spewing venom against minorities using his TV channel and also on public platforms. He has been in the spotlight of the Supreme Court for when a case was filed against his obnoxious and inflammatory show on the topic of “UPSC Jihad” where he made contentious claims that Muslim aspirants were favoured for entry into the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to the disadvantage of Hindu candidates. The apex court had held the show to be offensive and having the potential to spread communal tensions.
This time, Chavhanke has landed himself in trouble by making comments in a show where under the garb of covering Palestine-Israel conflict he tried to provoke Musllims by showing a graphical depiction of bombing masjid and showing missiles targeting Madina. The complaint was filed by Zafir Hussain, and Metropolitan Magistrate Gopal Krishnan of Rohini courts, Delhi, has sought an ATR from the Investigating Officer (IO) as to whether any cognisable offence is made out as per the complaint and whether action has been taken in the matter. The case will next be heard on April 2.
The order may be read here:
Another complaint was filed by Dr SQR Illiyas, president of the Welfare Party of India and father of Dr Umar Khalid who has been in prison under charges of conspiracy behind the North East Delhi violence of February 2020. Metropolitan Magistrate Jitendra Pratap Singh of the Saket Courts has sought an ATR from the IO in this matter and posted the matter for March 15. In Dr. Illiyas’s complaint, he has taken objection to Chavhanke’s comments at the event organized by Hindu Yuva Vahini at Govindpuri Metro Station on December 19, 2021 in which the accused was “seen administering an oath” to a group of people to “die for and kill” to make India a “Hindu Rashtra” or a “Hindu Nation”.
The application sought the registration of FIR against Chavhanke for “giving speeches and making statements that are communal, divisive, incendiary and amount to hate speeches, with the knowledge that such incendiary remarks would have the propensity to stoke tensions inter se persons belonging to certain communities, and also would directly instigate violence”, reported the Indian Express. Dr. Illiyas further stated that as the inflammatory, communal and hate speeches were made by the accused persons during public events no preliminary inquiry was required in this matter and hence, sought registration of FIR against Chavhanke.
This event is also the subject matter of the plea before Supreme Court filed by former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali seeking criminal action against the hate speech makers at Hardiwar’s Dharam Sansad as well as against Chavhanke for his aforementioned comments at the Delhi event. While FIRs were registered in a few days in the case of Haridwar event and eventually even arrests have been made, no action has been taken yet against Chavhanke by Delhi Police. The court has issued notice in the matter.
In September 2020, SabrangIndia’s sister organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace had moved the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) – now known as News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) against Sudarshan News for airing a communally inflammatory promotional video for its show exploring a “controversy” on “infiltration” of Muslims in public services, while demeaningly terming it ‘UPSC Jihad’. The same was forwarded to the Union I&B Ministry by the authority since Sudarshan TV is not a member of the National Broadcasters Association (NBA).
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