High Court refuses to stay ban on TV serial in Punjab

Chandigarh, Sep 9 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday refused to stay the ban on the telecast of the television series “Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush” imposed by the state of Punjab two days ago. The court adjourned the case for next hearing on September 12.
During a special hearing on a petition filed by Colors TV, Justice T.S. Dhindsa declined to grant stay on the order passed by various District Commissioners in their capacity as District Magistrates.
Arguing the case, Additional Advocate General Rameeza Hakeem said the decision to ban the telecast of the serial had been taken on the ground that Rishi Valmiki had been portrayed in a negative light, hurting the sentiments of the Valmiki community in Punjab.
During the hearing, which went beyond 5 p.m., Colors TV contended that the ban order was passed without adhering to the principles of natural justice, and without the ingredients of Section 19 of the Cable Operators Regulation Act.
The channel also placed on record an offer from the producers of the serial to enter a dialogue with the Home Secretary to discuss the contentious scenes.
They offered to delete the scenes that portrayed Valmiki in objectionable light.
The court called upon the Additional Advocate General to take instructions in the matter, especially on the offer made by the producers to delete the objectionable scenes.
Hakeem later said the offer would be considered by the state government, whose response would be submitted before the court on the next date of hearing.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered the Deputy Commissioners to immediately ban the telecast of “Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush”, which had offended the members of the Valmiki community who staged a protest on the same day.
The Chief Minister had also written to the government of India, urging it to instruct the direct-to-home channels to stop telecasting the serial.

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