14 Dec 2017
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SC stays Delhi HC order on suspension of Comedy Central

MUMBAI: After being blacked out for two and a half days, Viacom18’s English entertainment channel Comedy Central will resume transmission from today evening.

The Supreme Court today stayed a Delhi High Court order directing Comedy Central to go off air for six days.

After being blacked out for two and a half days, Viacom18’s English entertainment channel Comedy Central will resume transmission from today evening.

The Supreme Court today stayed a Delhi High Court order directing Comedy Central to go off air for six days.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had not allowed early hearing of an appeal filed by the channel. The court also refused to stay the case in the interim till the special leave petition comes up for hearing.

As per an official statement, Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd group general counsel Sujeet Jain said, “The Supreme Court today stayed the Delhi High Court order on the suspension of the channel, Comedy Central. We are happy to announce that the channel will resume broadcast this evening.”

The Supreme Court, while staying that decision today, also issued a notice to the Centre on a petition by Viacom18, which airs the channel in India, challenging provisions of the law that allow the ministry to take action against TV channels.

The Delhi High Court had upheld a decision of the Centre to stop transmission of Comedy Central for 10 days for airing shows like ‘Stand Up Club’ and ‘Popcorn’ containing ‘obscene’ and ‘vulgar’ dialogues besides being derogatory to women.

The High Court had also upheld a fine of Rs 20,000 imposed by the Centre. Since the filing of the appeal, the ban had already been in force for four days, and the penalty regarding the remaining six days had come into force now.

In its appeal, Viacom 18 Media had said, “Prohibition of transmission will cause irreparable loss and damage to the appellant. It will also put an end to the popularity and the viability, commercially or otherwise, of the channel.”

The channel had also claimed that transmission is its fundamental right. “The right to operate and broadcast television channel is protected under Article 19 of the Constitution. In this view of the matter, the appellants submit that they are entitled to fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution,” the channel said.