Uncategorized Gauhati HC sets aside police commissioner’s order suspending telecast...

Gauhati HC sets aside police commissioner’s order suspending telecast of Assamese serial

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New Delhi: The Gauhati High Court has set aside the order passed by the Commissioner of Police, Gauhati, to suspend the telecast of Assamese serial ‘Begum Jaan’.

A single-judge bench of Justice Suman Shyam heard a petition filed by AM Private Television Ltd, challenging the order passed by the commissioner to ban the telecast of the serial, which is based on a theme of Hindu-Muslim love relationship, for a period of two months.

S Sarma, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the police commissioner can pass the order only on the basis of the recommendations of a District Monitoring Committee.

The counsel said that as per the latest guidelines of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued in 2017, a representative from the electronic media should be included in the Monitoring Committee. The recommendation of the Monitoring Committee, based on which the Commissioner passed the order, did not have a representative from the media.

The government advocate argued that even if the constitution of the committee was illegal, it did not have any consequence on the order, as the commissioner was independently competent to pass it.

The Court observed:

“The complaints were evidently addressed to the Chairman of the Monitoring Committee and therefore, a duly constituted monitoring committee was required to apply its mind on the merit of the complaints before making any recommendation in the matter which has apparently not been done in this case.”

The court noted that copies of the complaints were not served to the petitioner and no opportunity of hearing was given. Moreover, the impugned order did not record any reason.

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Therefore, the order was set aside, giving liberty to the competent authority to decide the matter afresh, after affording an opportunity of hearing to the parties.

Read the order here;

pdf-upload-380929

-India Legal Bureau

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