The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to lift the ban on the BBC documentary, "India's Daughter," made on the December 16, 2012 gangrape incident, saying that the issue of its telecast was pending with the trial court.
The High Court today stated that the documentary was not shown because of the restraint order of the trial court rather than by the advisory issued by the Centre against the telecast, which was only an advice to private TV channels.
"It is apparent from facts borne out from the record that the advisory dated March 3, 2015, was a mere advice to the private TV channels. It appears to us that the documentary in question has not been telecast on account of the restraint order passed by the competent court of law," the bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.
"So far as the judicial orders of March 3 and March 4, 2015 (banning telecast of the documentary) are concerned, since the matter is pending before the competent court of law and more particularly the investigation is still in progress, the interference by this court either under Article 226 or under Article 227 of the Constitution is not warranted," added the court.
The documentary produced by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin and telecast by the BBC was related to the gangrape incident that occurred on the night of December 16, 2012. Protests rocked the capital and other regions of the country after the victim of the gangrape succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital. The documentary which was shot inside Tihar Jail, was based on the premise that it was "a look at the mindset of one of the convicted rapists."
Today's decision was concerned with the PILs filed by three law students seeking the lifting of the ban as they had pointed out that the ban on the documentary film passed by the trial court was only on the basis of a first information report.
Vibhor Anand, Arun Menon and Kritika Padode — in their separate PILs, had said that the "fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of public at large/citizen under Article 19 of Constitution of India have been infringed due to government's illegal action to ban the broadcasting of the documentary."