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Delhi HC refuses to interfere with ban on December 16 gangrape documentary

Demonstrators hold candles during a candlelight vigil to mark the first death anniversary of the Delhi gang rape victim, in New Delhi December 29, 2013. A 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a moving bus in Delhi December 16, 2012, beaten and then pushed out onto the street along with her male companion. She died December 29, 2012 amid an outpouring of anger across India. Four men were sentenced to death while a teenager was sentenced to juvenile custody. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW)
Demonstrators hold candles during a candlelight vigil to mark the first death anniversary of the Delhi gang rape victim, in New Delhi December 29, 2013. A 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a moving bus in Delhi December 16, 2012, beaten and then pushed out onto the street along with her male companion. She died December 29, 2012 amid an outpouring of anger across India. Four men were sentenced to death while a teenager was sentenced to juvenile custody. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW)

New Delhi: Delhi High Court Friday refused to interfere with the ban on a controversial BBC documentary, ‘India’s Daughter’ on the December 16 gangrape case, saying the issue of its telecast was pending before the trial court which was competent to deal with it.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also did not go into the validity of an advisory issued by the Centre against telecast of the short film, saying that it was only an advice to private TV channels and the documentary was not shown because of the restraint order of the trial court.

“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,” the bench said.

The court also said, “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.

“We, therefore, decline to enter into the various contentions advanced by the petitioners regarding the validity of the advisory issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.”

The decision came on the PILs by three law students seeking lifting of the ban on the documentary, which was shot inside Tihar Jail, on the ground that it was “a look at the mindset of one of the convicted rapists”.

The bench disposed of the petitions while leaving it open to the trial court to proceed with the matter by following the due process of law and also granted liberty to the law students or any other aggrieved party to work out other remedies under the law.

On the night of December 16, 2012, Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh and a juvenile had gangraped a girl in a bus and beaten up her 28-year-old male friend, who was with her.

While the girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital, the victim’s friend, suffered grievous hurt in the incident.

The juvenile accused was on August 31, 2013 convicted and sentenced to three years in a reformation home, while four others were handed down death penalty.

—PTI

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