The petitions challenge the use of emergency powers to block the BBC documentary on PM Modi and remove links from social media.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the central government to produce original records relating to its decision to block a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and M M Sundresh issued notices to the government and others on pleas filed by veteran journalist N Ram, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan and lawyer M L Sharma.
The petitions challenge the use of emergency powers to block the documentary and remove links from social media. The Centre never formally publicised the blocking order, said a separate petition by lawyer ML Sharma calling the ban on the two-part documentary “malafide, arbitrary, and unconstitutional”.
On January 21, the Centre issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial documentary.
The court declined to be dragged into the issue of students being punished for airing the documentary, saying the proceedings before it will confine to legal arguments.
The government had ordered removal and blocking of all social media links to the controversial documentary, “India: The Modi question” produced by BBC with alleged references to the actions of Modi as a gujrat chief minister during the 2002 riots .
The MEA termed the BBC documentary a “propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative,” while referring the the Supreme Court clearing PM Modi of all charges vis-a-vis the 2022 Gujarat riots.