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Govt, court stop broadcast of Nirbhaya gangrape convict's interview

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 04 March 2015, 07:11 PM

Government and judicial authorities on Wednesday took steps to stop the telecast of the controversial documentary on the Delhi gangrape incident even as Parliament erupted in anger over the interview of a convict in the gruesome case.

In a bid to defuse the escalating row over the documentary by a British film-maker for BBC to be aired on March 8, the Union Home Ministry asked BBC, External Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Ministries and Department of Information Technology(IT) to ensure it is not broadcast anywhere.

Officials said the Home Ministry is also planning legal action against the filmmaker Leslee Udwin for allegedly violating stipulated permission conditions even as a “stunned” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said provisions for allowing such shoots inside jails would be reviewed.

A Delhi court said the order restraining airing or broadcasting the interview of the convict Mukesh Singh, which was conducted inside the Tihar jail here, will continue till further orders.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal said this after the Delhi Police placed on record the order passed by a metropolitan magistrate yesterday which had restrained media from publishing, broadcasting, telecasting or uploading the interview on the internet.

Singh, who assured both Houses of Parliament that it would not allow the broadcast of the documentary, said Government has taken necessary action.

Making a statement in both Houses, Singh said in the first place Government would order a probe into how permission was granted for the convict’s interview inside the Tihar Jail.

“Under no circumstances, this documentary will be allowed to be broadcast... Government has taken necessary action.”

Singh’s predecessor and Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde said he did not give any permission for shooting the documentary and that no papers had come to him in this regard.  “I gave no permission in Nirbhaya case to make a documentary.

It was not given by me,” he said.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said permission was given to the documentary maker to carry out an interview under certain conditions, like it should not contain anything against the law.

Women MPs from Opposition parties stormed into the well of Rajya Sabha and forced a brief adjournment demanding action over the convict being allowed to give an outrageous interview from inside Tihar Jail. Led by Jaya Bachchan (SP), they later staged a walkout.

Bachchan said women do not want “crocodile tears” of the government and wanted it take action immediately.

In the Rajya Sabha, nominated MPs Anu Aga and Javed Akhtar struck a different note on the convict’s interview.

“The reality is that what that man (convict) spoke reflects the view of many men in India. Why are we shying away from reality? Why are we not confronting the issue? We should confront the issue.

“It is not just the view of the man in the prison. Let us be aware of it. Let us not pretend that all is well,” Aga said.

Akhtar, a noted lyricist said ,” It’s good that this documentary has been made. Crores of men in India have now come to know that they think like a rapist. If it is sounding dirty, they have to think,” he said. 

First Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 07:07 PM
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