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India’s move to ban BBC documentary a ‘hasty move’

protestNEW DELHI:The move by the Indian Government to ban a BBC documentary on the rape of a student on Dec 16, 2010 has not been well received by legal experts here.

In their view, it was a hasty move, and filing a first information report (FIR) against the maker of the documentary might not be based on sound principles of law.

The government, via the Delhi police has obtained an interim court order to ban the documentary, both in the media and on the Internet.

Leading national daily, The Hindu quoted India’s former attorney-general, Soli J. Sorabjee as saying the filing of the FIR was “hasty” and it would not sustain in a court of law.

He was also reported saying: “No useful purpose is gained by shoving harsh reality under the carpet.”

Sorabjee viewed that a ban based on a court injunction order could be challenged on the grounds that it took away the public’s right to know.

Meanwhile the daily quoted media law expert and Supreme Court lawyer Madhavi Goradia Divan as saying that if the content was of such grave public importance,general public interest to view the documentary might override the government decision to ban.

“Members of the public and social organisations could intervene for the removal of the injunction.”

Rajya Sabha member and senior lawyer K. T. S. Tulsi said: “If truth is offensive, deal with it.

“This ostrich-like approach to danger will not save our women from sexual violence. The documentary offers a peep into a criminal mind.

“Its intention is not to glorify him (perpetrator), but to expose his mindset to society.

“Showing the documentary is all the more important now. A loosely-worded law against rape was hastily passed after the gang rape, but crime against women has increased by 27 percent after that.” – From Bernama

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