The Delhi High Court on Friday kept the ban imposed on the BBC documentary India’s Daughter, based on the December 16 gang rape case, in place ruling that the High Court’s interference was not warranted as the matter is pending before the trial court.
The ruling came on three Public Interest Litigations (PIL) that questioned the ban on the documentary and sought its revocation. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry's advisory issued on March 3, 2015 that restrained private TV channels from airing the documentary also came under the scanner.
The two-judge bench led by Chief Justice G Rohini ruled that since the matter is still pending before the competitive court of law and investigation is underway, “the interference by this Court either under Article 226 or under Article 227 of the Constitution is not warranted”.
“It is apparent from the facts borne out of record that the "advisory" dated 03.03.2015 was a mere advice to the private satellite TV channels. However, there is a judicial order prohibiting telecasting and the matter is still pending before the competent court of law. Therefore, the contentions advanced by the petitioners regarding the validity of the "advisory" issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting deserve no consideration at this stage”.
The court held that it is for the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to decide whether the ban should be lifted or not.
Featuring an interview with one of the four convicts, British filmmaker Leslee Udwin's India’s Daughter had been banned right before its scheduled release on the account that the contents of the documentary were “malicious and derogatory to women”.
Read the Judgment here.