The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the Hindi television channel Sudarshan News from airing future episodes of its controversial Bindas Bol show that claims to have unearthed “a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil service by Muslims”. The channel aired the first episode of a 10-part series on the subject on September 11 after the Supreme Court refused to pass a restraining order late August.

Revisiting the case on Tuesday, the court said “the object, intent and purpose of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community with an insidious attempt to portray them as part of a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil services”. It rejected the argument made by the channel’s lawyer that a decision should be made after all 10 episodes are aired.

Three different cases in the courts over the last few weeks have brought to sharp focus the question of judicial scrutiny of media reporting. While the Sudarshan News case involves questions on hate speech, the other cases emerge from the TV coverage of the deaths of celebrities – actor Sushant Singh Rajput, and entrepreneur Sunanda Pushkar who was married to former minister Shashi Tharoor. In both the cases, the courts have been asked to put a stop to “trial by media”.

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