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Sudarshan TV case: Centre tells Supreme Court to look into regulating digital media before electronic or TV media

The Ministry of Information Broadcasting has told the Supreme Court that if it wishes to undertake an exercise to regulate media, it should first do so on "digital media". Vijay Kaushik, an under-secretary in the ministry, in a counter affidavit filed in a case against Sudarshan TV, told the apex court that if it considered appropriate to regulate media, it had "no justification" to confine it only to "mainstream electronic media". The story was reported first by Bar and Bench. The Centre has clearly expressed in the open about its desire, if not attempt, to regulate digital media, which includes digitial print media, web-based news portals, YouTube portals and over-the-top (OTT) streaming services. Background: Earlier this week, the Supreme Court began hearing a plea against Sudarshan TV for airing the programme "Bindas Bol", hosted by the channel's editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke, which aired episodes on "UPSC Jihad" on the supposed rise in number of Muslims in the civil services. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court restrained the channel from airing the remaining episodes of "Bindas Bol" till further orders. What did the Centre say? In the counter-affidavit, a copy of which is uploaded on LiveLaw's website, the ministry noted that there were already Parliamentary laws or Court judgements that dealt with the "balancing" of journalistic freedoms and responsible journalism. It told the court  the present petition be confined to only to Sudarshan TV and that it may not undertake any exercise of laying down further guidelines without the appointment of an Amicus…

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