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Sudarshan News Exposes Zakat Foundation In Supreme Court

This is the Affidavit filed by Sudarshan News in the Supreme Court on 16th September 2020 exposing Zakat Foundation of India's links with Al Qaida, Pakistani ISIS, Hamas, ISIS, etc. with evidence + UPSC socio-political scam

The infprmation presented in this Affidavit fully vindicates the points raised in my letter to PM Modi regarding terror links of Zakat Foundation. Link: https://www.manushi.in/governance/appeal-to-the-prime-minister-of-india-need-to-investigate-zakat-foundation-trained-ias-ips-irs-officers-for-possible-terror-links-and-allegiance-to-pan-islamic-agenda - Editor

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (C) No. 956 OF 2020

IN THE MATTER OF:
Firoz Iqbal Khan (Petitioners) Versus Union of India and others (Respondents)

With
Short Counter affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent No.5

PAPER BOOK
(for index kindly see inside)

ADVOCATE FOR THE RESPONDENT NO.5:
VISHNU SHANKAR JAIN

Index

Sl. No. Particulars Pages
1. Short counter affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent
No.5
1-20
2. ANNEXURE R-1: (colly) True copies of Form FC-
6 published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all
the transaction detailing all the contribution
21-44
3. ANNEXURE R-2(colly): True copies of Form FC-6
published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all
the transaction detailing all the contribution
45-55
4. ANNEXURE R-3: A true copy of the news report
prepared by Mr.Sam Westrop, Director of Middle
East Forum’s Islamist Watch
56-61
5. ANNEXURE R-4: A true copy of notification issued
by Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India
dated 17.11.2016
62-63
6. ANNEXURE R-5: A true copy of record maintained
by Companies House (U.K.)
64-69
7. ANNEXURE R-6: A true copy of Form FC-6
published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all
the transaction detailing all the contribution
70-72
8. ANNEXURE R-7: A true copy of report non-profit
research group i.e. The Investigative Project on
Terrorism (IPT) of United States of America
73-76
9. ANNEXURE R-8: A true copy of cover of
presentation by Syed Zafar Mahmood titled as 21st
Century Kashmiri Renaissance on 28.08.2017
77
10. ANNEXURE R-9: A true copy of slide about Uttar
Pradesh Nagina Lok Sabha Constituency
78-79
11. ANNEXURE R-10: A true copy of slide about
Assam Lok Sabha Constituency Karimganj
80-81
12. ANNEXURE R-11: A true copy of slide about ZFI
sent notice to Maharashtra State Election
Commissioner on 16.11.2016
82
13. ANNEXURE R-12: A true copy of slide about
presentation of National flag of India
83
14. ANNEXURE R-13: A true copy of slide about
picture of South Block
84
15. ANNEXURE R-14: A true copy of slide about a
picture of certain Muslim men and women sitting in
a Government office
85
16. ANNEXURE R-15: A true copy of slide about a
notification dated 29.7.2016 issued by the
Government of India Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
86
17. ANNEXURE R-16: A true copy of slide about
“Over centuries & millennia geographical boundaries
keep on changing”
87
18. ANNEXURE R-17: A true copy of slide about HRD
& Law Ministries retaining AMU’s & Jamia Millia’s
Minority Character
88
19. Application for exemption from filing notarized
counter affidavit with affidavit
89-91

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (C) No. 956 OF 2020

IN THE MATTER OF:
Firoz Iqbal Khan (Petitioners)
Versus
Union of India and others (Respondents)

SHORT COUNTER AFFIDAVIT FILED ON BEHALF OF
SUDARSHAN NEWS RESPONDENTS NO. 5

I, Suresh Chavhanke, S/o. Khanderao Chavhanke, aged about 47 years, I am Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan News, Office at A-84, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh-201307, do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:

1. That I am Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan News, the Respondent No.5 (“Answering Respondent”), in the above petition and I am competent to file this affidavit on its behalf. I am fully conversant with the facts and circumstances of the case hereinafter deposed.

2. That the Petitioner has sent copy of the writ petition on email to the deponent on 8.09.2020. The Petitioner has also filed additional documents on 13.09.2020. The intervention applications i.e. I.A. No.90940 of 2020, 91132 of 2020 and 91167 of 2020 which were filed on or about 12.09.2020 and 14.09.2020 were served upon my Advocate-on-record on 14.09.2020.The Answering Respondent requires some time to prepare detailed counter affidavit(s) to the contents of the petition and the intervention applications. In these circumstances, the deponent is filing a short counter affidavit in the matter and requests this Hon’ble Court to grant him some time to file a detailed counter affidavit.

3. At the outset, I request this Hon’ble Court to vacate the temporary injunction issued on 15.09.2020 so as to enable the Answering Respondent to carry the remaining episodes of the subject programme. It is respectfully submitted that for the reasons more particularly set out in this affidavit, there is no justification to continue the pretelecast/ prior restraint direction. This is particularly so in view of the public interest that will be served by allowing the programme to be broadcast.

4. Further at the outset, I state that I am running the news channel for the last 15 years. During this period, the channel has faithfully observed the programme code. To the best of this deponent’s recollection and based on the records available in this short period, I say that no action has been taken by the concerned ministry in the past 15 years.

5. I am doing investigative journalism. I feel it is my duty to awaken the citizens and the Government about anti-national and anti-social activities and the modus operandi.

6. The Answering Respondent has broadcast four episodes at 8 P.M in “Bindas Bol” with a heading “UPSC Jehad”. The Answering Respondent has used the words “UPSC Jehad” because it has come to the knowledge of the Answering Respondent through various sources that Zakat Foundation has received funds from various terror-linked organizations. It is not that all contributors to the Zakat Foundation are terror-linked. However, some of the contributors are linked to organizations or are organizations that fund extremist groups. The funds received by the Zakat Foundation, in turn, are used to support aspirants for IAS, IPS or UPSC.

7. I believe this is a matter of grave public interest. It is also a matter of national security. Consistent with the national security requirements of our country, there ought to be a public debate and discussion on the source of such funding. It is the debate and discussions arising from the subject programme which may cause the government to reexamine its policy with respect to such funding.

8. It is relevant to mention here that as per part IVA Fundamental Duties, it is the duty of every citizen i.e.-

“(a) to abide the Constitutions and respect its ideals and institutions,
the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to cherish and follow the Noble ideals which inspired our national
struggle for freedom;

(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;”
therefore, it is the duty of the Answering Respondent and all the
citizens joining UPSC to abide by the said ideals stated herein above.
When it comes to light through various sources that funds contributed
by tainted organizations are being used to facilitate people joining
UPSC, there is a serious issue requiring public debate, discussion and
scrutiny.

9. There is no statement or message in the four episodes broadcast that members of a particular community should not join UPSC. UPSC is an open competitive examination and members of every community may participate in the entrance examination and qualify. The thrust of the programme is that there appears to be a conspiracy which needs to be investigated by NIA or CBI. It appears that terror linked organizations are funding the Zakat Foundation of India, which in turn is supporting the UPSC aspirants.

10. Terrorism is a global menace. There are several international organizations that provide monetary support to extremists. The spread of extremist philosophy is undesirable and it is imperative that cross border funding that could encourage the spread of extremism should be stamped out.

11. During the course of my professional work I came across certain alarming facts to the effect that certain organizations working outside India have hatched a conspiracy to infiltrate the bureaucracy.

12. I found a number of documents, facts and figures that show the modus operandi of such organizations. It is on this basis that I prepared a story to broadcast on the Respondent news channel in the programme ‘Bindas Bol’ at 8.00 p.m. from 28.08.2020.

13. I emphasize here that I have no ill will against any community or any individual. I do not oppose the selection of any meritorious candidate in the service of the Union or the States and the same has been clearly stated by me during all the shows broadcast from 11.09.2020 till 14.09.2020.

14. My thrust and endeavour is to expose anti-national activities and the manner in which some persons are being recruited in All India Civil Service under a design to induct persons with the financial support of international fundamentalists to achieve their oblique motives in India, which may pose a serious threat to the security of India.

15. Deponent has broadcast the story relating to foreign funding of various overseas organizations connected with Zakat Foundation of India. The programme projects that the overseas organization appear to have links with certain extremists, terrorist and banned organizations and this is set out in the four episodes up till now.

16. Under the provisions of Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 if any person is collecting money from terrorist organization, terrorist gang or individual terrorist notwithstanding the fact that whether such funds were actually used or not for commission of such Act is punishable. Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 is as under:

“17- Punishment for raising funds for terrorist act. —Whoever, in
India or in a foreign country, directly or indirectly, raises or collects
funds or provides funds to any person or persons or attempts to
provide funds to any person or persons, knowing that such funds are
likely to be used by such person or persons to commit a terrorist act,
notwithstanding whether such funds were actually used or not for
commission of such act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for
a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend
to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

17. As per Section 6 of the National Investigation Agency Act,2008 it is mentioned that on receipt of an information of any Scheduled Offence the same can be directed by the State Government or the Central Government to be investigated by the National Investigation Agency.

18. As per Section 9 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act,2010 the Central Government has the power to prohibit any person from accepting foreign contribution.

19. The Answering Respondent, in light of the facts mentioned herein about the foreign funding of Zakat Foundation of India, has raised questions with regard to whether its activities are required to be investigated. This deponent believes that he is well within his fundamental rights to speak about these issues including on the television channel.

20. A request was made on behalf of the answering Respondent channel through a mediator on 28.08.2020 seeking to invite Syed Zafar Mahmood the founder of Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) and confirmation was received through the mediator to the answering Respondent channel on 06.09.2020. The message received was that ZFI would participate in the debate. An invitation was also sent on 12.09.2020 to Syed Zafar Mahmood the founder of Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) by Sudharshan Channel on email id:- info@zakatindia.orc. An invitation was also sent on 12.09.2020 to Syed Zafar Mahmood the founder of Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) by Sudharshan Channel on phone no.9810334141.

A unit of the channel comprising of a journalist with a camera person was also sent on 12.09.2020 to an address i.e. ‘Zakat Foundation of India, CISRS House, 14-B Jungpura, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110014 (facing hotel Rajdoot building. The purpose of this unit visiting the location was to enable participation in a live telecast so that responses and points of view could be projected to the audience. Another unit of the channel comprising of a journalist with a camera person was also sent on 12.09.2020 to the residential address of Syed Zafar Mahmood the founder of Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) but the same was not allowed by the police to stand in front of the house therefore, the unit stood nearby. An open request was also made from 12.09.2020 till 14.09.2020 to participate in debate conducted by the answering Respondent. In all the three episodes i.e. 12/13/14.09.2020 a chair was kept vacant for Syed Zafar Mahmood the founder of Zakat Foundation of India or a representative’s participation in the debate.

21. In substance the following facts relating to various foreign and overseas funding have been broadcast:-

A. Zakat Foundation of India and Madina Trust: Zakat Foundation of India was founded in 1993 by one Syed Zafar Mahmood. Zakat Foundation of India is primarily involved in providing coaching to the aspirants of Civil Services from one community.

From 2009 to 2019 a total of 119 Zakat Foundation of India fellows have joined the Civil Services as per their website. As per reports, in 2020 alone 27 out of 40 Muslim candidates selected by Union Public Service Commission are products of the Zakat Foundation of India.
As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Madina Trust U.K., through deposit in their bank account maintained at Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which are as under:-
a. 2007-2008----Rs.1,68,031/-
b. 2010-2011----Rs.6,37,650/-
c. 2011-2012----Rs.6,30,835/-
d. 2012-2013----Rs.5,19,817/-
e. 2014-2015----Rs.9,59,345/-
f. 2015-2016----Rs.11,90,203/-
g. 2017-2018----Rs.12,73,960/-
h. 2018-2019----Rs.13,64,694/-

True copies of Form FC-6 published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all the transaction detailing all the contribution mentioned above are annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-1 (colly)(page 21-44)

i) As per records of Charity Commission for England and Wales, Dr.Zahid Ali Parvez, Trustee, Madina Trust is also a trustee with the Islamic Foundation. The Times, UK had reported that two Islamic Foundation trustees were on the UN sanctions list of people associated with banned terror organizations Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
ii) According to reports, Madina Trust was also involved in an attack on
Indian High Commission, London in September,2019.

B. Zakat Foundation of India, links with Muslim Aid (U.K.) and beyond:

i) As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Zakat Foundation of India received donations from ‘Muslim Aid (UK)’, which were deposited in their bank account maintained at Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which are as under:-
2006-2007- Rs.8,80,481.00
2006-2007- Rs.14,35,194.00
2010-2011- Rs.5,75,640.00
2011-2012- Rs.3,08,609.00
2013-2014- Rs.4,90,000.00
True copies of Form FC-6 published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all the transaction detailing all the contribution mentioned above are annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-2 (colly)(page 45-55)

ii) As per Mr.Sam Westrop, Director of Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch, General Khalid Latif who is Chairman of Muslim Aid (Pakistan) was previously a Senior Official of Pakistan’s ISI. Muslim Aid (Pakistan) also partners and works closely with designated terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen.

iii) It is a matter of fact that Muslim Aid U.K. is a parent organization of Muslim Aid Pakistan which inter alia (Muslim Aid U.K.) is funding Zakat Foundation of India.

iv) Mr.Westrop further states that Muslim Aid, UK has repeatedly been found involved with a number of terror networks. He adds, that in 2010, following investigative work by British media and an inquiry by Britain’s charity regulator, Muslim Aid, UK was found (and admitted) to have been funding a number of front organizations for the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
A true copy of the news report prepared by Mr.Sam Westrop, Director of Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch is annexed hereto and marked as ANEXURE R-3(page 56-61)

C. Zakat Foundation of India’s link to Zakir Naik:
i) Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation has been banned under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA). The Cabinet note regarding the ban said that Zakir Naik has been promoting enmity between religious groups and inspiring Muslim youth in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.
A true copy of notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India dated 17.11.2016 is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R4(page 62-63)

ii) It is relevant to mention that as per the record maintained by Companies House, the Registrar of Companies in the United Kingdom it has come in public domain that the following persons are linked with each other:-
- Zakir Naik is currently a Director of Islamic Research Foundation (International) at U.K.
- From 24.01.2007 to 20.12.2016 Mohammed Jafer Hussain Qureshi was Director of Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (International) at U.K. He is presently Director of Zakat Foundation of India (International) at U.K.
- Shri Syed Zafar Mahmood who is founder of Zakat Foundation of India is presently Director of Zakat Foundation of India (International) at U.K.

iii) It is the understanding of the answering Respondent that Syed Zafar Mahmood is closely associated with both Mohammed Jafer Hussain Qureshi and Zakir Naik.
A true copy of record maintained by Companies House (U.K.) is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-5(page 64-69)

(D)Zakat Foundation of India, Zakat Foundation of America, Khalil Demir and extremist organizations.
i) As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Zakat Foundation of America which were deposited in their bank account maintained at Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which is as under:-
2015-2016 - Rs. 11,32,574.00
A true copy of Form FC-6 published by Ministry of Home Affairs detailing all the transaction detailing all the contribution mentioned above is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-6(page 70-72)

ii) As per a report by non-profit research group i.e. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) of United States of America, Zakat Foundation of America’s executive director is Khalil Demir. Khalil Demir has signed the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 forms for Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) which US Treasury(U.S. Government) found guilty in the year 2002 for funding Al-Qaeda.

iii) In addition to serving Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), Khalil Demir also has worked with the terror-tied Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH). A 2010 news release on the Turkish charity's relief efforts in earthquake-hit Haiti describes Khalil Demir as an "IHH aid coordinator." The same year, IHH also referred to the Zakat Foundation of America as a "partner institution."

iv) Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) has also helped in funding the Hamas military wing (terror group), which used the money to buy weapons and build training facilities as per Israel's Ministry of Foreign Relations. IHH has been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, Germany and the Netherlands. A true copy of report non-profit research group i.e. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) of United States of America is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-7(page 73-76)

v) From this information that has been paint stakingly analyze and collected by the answering Respondent, it appears that Zakat Foundation of India has received funds from terror tied Zakat Foundation of America(Khalil Demir) who has a direct/indirect link with Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) and Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) both of which have terror links.

vi) Reports also stated that Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) distributed aid to the Salafist group Ahrar al Sham, which fought alongside ISIS and the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

22. It is clear from the above that the Deponent is serving the nation by giving relevant information to the public and the Government to secure the future of India.

23. As a journalist it is my duty to work fearlessly and freely. The disgruntled persons are trying to misinterpret the facts stated by me as they do not want that full facts may come before the nation otherwise the conspiracy hatched by them will be exposed.

24. The answering Respondent states that a minority community is taking benefit of OBC and minority scheme simultaneously and the same is a political and social issue which is why we are seeking a debate. The answering Respondent has further questioned whether the benefits granted to OBC from a minority community must be reviewed. It is respectfully submitted that in this context there was a graphic of 32 years ‘General candidate’ compared with 35 years OBC minority candidate. The answering Respondent while explaining the graphic had clarified that it is for Muslim OBC and not for General category
Muslims candidate.

25. If a news channel is raising an objection of Muslims taking benefit of OBC quota the same cannot be communal and in this country time and again these questions and this debates are in public domain. The answering respondent has just raised a question as to how benefit of minority scheme along with Muslim OBCs are taken simultaneously and the same amounts to discrimination against the other segments of the society. The intervention application i.e. I.A. No.91132/2020 has projected a wrong impression by showing a slide at page 104 of the said application wherein the answering Respondent compared the maximum age of a candidate who can attempt for UPSC that is for general candidate age is 32 years and for UPSC Muslim OBC candidate is age is 35 years. The answering Respondent while explaining the said slide in episode 1 and later on also has explained and clarified that certain sections of citizens feel discriminated by Muslim OBC candidates getting benefit of age relaxation and also getting benefited of various minority welfare schemes floated by the
Central Government. It is in this regard a graphic was projected wherein how a person who starts the race from the same point gets discriminated by the Muslim OBC candidate who gets the benefit of age relaxation, number of attempts in UPSC and also the financial schemes of Central Government for minority (Nai Udaan and Naya Savera).

26. If the answering Respondent is coming to know from the various segments of the society through various sources that inclusion of a certain minority in the OBC category is wrong and if the same is broadcast the speech is protected. It is constitutionally permissible. In a democratic setup the citizens of the country can always raise a demand from the Parliamentarians to make appropriate laws. Media is the fourth pillar of the democratic set up and to raise thought provoking issues is also the constitutional right and duty of the answering Respondent. The answering Respondent had stated from the very beginning of the programme that he should not be judged merely on each episode and all his ten episodes must be seen to understand the perspective which the answering Respondent is trying to project.

27. It is a matter of fact that as per the scheme of Central Government an amount of Rs.20 crores is spent for support of students clearing prelims conducted by UPSC, SSC, and State Public Service Commissions. The schemes are known as (Nai Udaan and Naya Savera) and are available only to minority communities. The aforesaid scheme has been passed by Central Government budget 2019-20 issued by Ministry of Minority Affairs.

28. The answering Respondent will in brief state the following with regard to what has been broadcast. That the answering Respondent in Episode No.1 has tried to broadcast following broad points which are briefly stated herein i.e.

A. Episode 1-
i. Video clip of Abdul Rauf-Ex Deputy Commissioner, Maharashtra cadre which states as under:-
“if our people are here then we will be benefitted. Make them IAS, IPS officers.”

ii. Video clip of Akbarudddin Owaisi (Political Leader of AIMIM) which states as under:-
“I want our Muslims to become IAS, IPS, IRS and IFS”

iii. Video clip of a famous political leader and community leader namely Imran Pratapgarhi states as under:-
“If you want to improve the nation and get your rights(Haq lena chahte ho) then you have to capture the bureaucracy (bureaucracy pe kabza karo) and there is no other option only capture the bureaucracy(sirf bureaucracy pe kabza karo)”

B. Episode-2 is on the issue of National Security and foreign funding which is dealt with above.

C. Episode 3 & 4:-
That the answering respondent in Episode No.3 & 4 has broadcast the following broad points which are briefly stated herein i.e.
i. Syed Zafar Mahmood titled as 21st Century Kashmiri Renaissance on 28.08.2017 has given a presentation at Islamic University of Science and Technology Awanitipora, Jammu and Kashmir. A true copy of cover of presentation by Syed Zafar Mahmood titled as 21st Century Kashmiri Renaissance
on 28.08.2017 is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-8(page 77)

ii. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein which states as “In Uttar Pradesh, Nagina Lok Sabha Constituency has State’s highest percentage of Muslims. 53.5.% Muslims. It is reserved for SCs.” A true copy of slide about Uttar Pradesh Nagina Lok Sabha Constituency is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-9(page 78-79)

iii. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein which states as “Assam Lok Sabha Constituency Karimganj reserved - Muslim 52.3%
-- SCs 12.95%.” A true copy of slide about Assam Lok Sabha Constituency Karimganj is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-10(page 80-81)

iv. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein which states as “ZFI sent notice to Maharashtra State Election Commissioner on 16.11.2016 and repeatedly followed it up. Consequently in 30 wards, either Delimitation was changed or SC reservation was withdrawn.” A true copy of slide about ZFI sent notice to Maharashtra State Election Commissioner on 16.11.2016 is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-11(page 82)

D. Episode 3 & 4:-
That the answering Respondent in Episode No.3 & 4 has tried broadcast following broad points which are briefly stated herein i.e.
i. In the said presentation National Flag of India has been depicted in a different colour. The Ashok Chakra is missing in the middle of the flag. A true copy of slide about presentation of National flag of India is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-12(page 83)

ii. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein a picture of South Block has been shown with a caption i.e. “For the next 35 years this office can be yours.” A true copy of slide about picture of South Block is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-13(page 84)

iii. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein a picture of certain Muslim men and women are sitting in a Government office and the caption is “in this Photo you should sit on the right side.” A true copy of slide about a picture of certain Muslim men and women sitting in a Government office is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-14(page 85)

iv. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein Government notification signed by Deputy Secretary to the Government of India named as Mr. Rohit Garg is depicted and the caption says “Our boys and girls should sign the orders issued by the Government”. A true copy of slide about a notification dated 29.7.2016 issued by the Government of India Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-15(page 86)

v. One of the slides which was broadcast was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein it has been stated “Over centuries & millennia geographical boundaries keep on changing.” A true copy of slide about “Over centuries & millennia geographical boundaries keep on changing” is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-16(page 87)

vi. One of the slides which was broadcast and was presented in the above mentioned presentation wherein it has been stated “our girls & boys can sit in the HRD & Law Ministries and retain AMU’s & Jamia Millia’s Minority Character.” A true copy of slide about HRD & Law Ministries retaining AMU’s & Jamia Millia’s Minority Character is annexed hereto and marked as ANNEXURE R-17(page 88)

29. That in the case of Brij Bhushan & Anr. vs. State of Delhi reported in 1950 SCR Pg.605 the issue arose on the question of law imposing precensorship
on newspaper for securing public safety and preventing public disorder wherein this Hon’ble Court by majority of 5:1 held that imposition of pre-censorship on a journal is a restriction on the liberty of the Press, at page 608 it has been held as under:

“There can be little doubt that the imposition of pre-censorship on a journal is a restriction on the liberty of the press which is an essential part of the right to freedom of speech and expression declared by article 19 (1)(a). As pointed out by Blackstone in his Commentaries "the liberty of the press consists in laying no previous restraint upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press(1). The only question therefore is whether section 7 (1)(c) which authorizes the imposition-of such a restriction falls within the reservation of clause (2) of article 19. As this question turns on considerations which are
essentially the same as those on which our decision in Petition No. XVI of 1950(2) was based, our judgment in that case concludes the present case also. Accordingly, for the reasons indicated in that judgment, we allow this petition and hereby quash the impugned order of the Chief Commissioner, Delhi, dated the 2nd March, 1950”.

30. That in the case of Common Cause vs. Union of India reported in 2018(13) SCC Pg.400 a question was raised at para 3 that: “Para 3. The primary issue, which arises for consideration in the instant case, is with reference to the introduction of a complaint redressal mechanism. Such a mechanism is sought in respect of complaints made against television and radio programmes. Illustratively, our attention has been drawn to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and to the rules framed thereunder, namely, Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994…”

The precise contention which was raised by the Petitioner in above mentioned matter was that there is no define complain redressal mechanism with reference to violation of code of conduct set out for television programmes. In this case following contentions and decision is stated under:-
“para 7. Mr Yashank Adhyaru, learned Senior Counsel, representing the Union of India, has invited our attention to the fact, that besides the aforesaid self-regulatory mechanism, there is an existing governmental mechanism, which looks into complaints with reference to television and radio programmes. In this behalf, learned counsel pointed out the following observations, recorded in the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent 1:
“It is this resolve of the Government which gave birth to the selfregulation. As stated in the preliminary submissions, this Ministry has self-regulatory body like BCCC, NBSAm ASCI to look into the violations of Programme/Advertising Codes of Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. Besides, EMMC monitors about 300 private TV channels for any violation of the above rules. In specific cases of violation, the EMMC refers the matter to this respondent. This respondent, in turn, issues show-cause notice to the alleged erring channel(s) to allow them an opportunity of fair justice before the matter is placed before IMC for deliberation and appropriate recommendation. Their recommendations are finally considered by the competent authority in Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (this respondent) and action as found suitable is taken on the recommendation of the IMC. Following the above mechanism, in the last 5 years 63 warnings, 18 off-air penalties have been issued by this respondent.
***
Further Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also issued orders on 25-4-2005 (also available on website of the Ministry www.mib.nic.in) constituting an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) under the chairmanship of the Addl. Secretary (I&B) and comprising officers drawn from various Ministries of Central Government viz. Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs, Law & Justice, Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare, Consumer Affairs (at Joint Secretary level) and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as an industry representative, to look into specific complaints regarding violation of the Programme Code and Advertising Code, as defined in Rules 6 and 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

The said Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) accords focused and careful attention to the cases of violation of Programme and Advertising Codes and makes appropriate recommendations, after application of mind to the facts of each case and review of the programmes, in question.” Para 8. Insofar as, the capacity of Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) is concerned, our attention was drawn to the factual position depicted in Para 10(i) of the counter-affidavit (filed by the Union of India), wherein it has been expressed, that EMMC had the capacity to conduct 24 × 7 monitoring of 150 channels in the year 2010-2011. The said capacity, it was averred, would be enhanced to 1500 channels, by the end of the year 2017. Based on the aforestated factual position, it was submitted, that the regulatory mechanism sought by the petitioner, is in place, and that, no further directions are called for.

9. Besides the submissions advanced on behalf of the Union of India, as have been narrated above, it is also the contention of the learned counsel representing Respondents 2, 3 and 5, that the issue under consideration is delicate, and that, media rights contemplated under Article 19 of the Constitution, need be kept in mind. It is, therefore, the assertion of the learned counsel representing Respondents 2, 3 and 5, that the norms stipulated under Rule 6 (extracted hereinabove) need to be interpreted in a manner as would be sustainable, within the framework of Article 19 of the Constitution.

10. Having given our thoughtful consideration, to the submissions advanced at the hands of the learned counsel for the rival parties, we are satisfied in concluding, that there is indeed an existing mechanism, as has been referred to by the learned counsel representing the Union of India. However, the above mechanism, is not known to the general public. We are therefore of the view, that the same needs adequate publication. We, therefore, hereby direct the Union of India, to publish the mechanism, which has been brought to our notice, and is partly extracted hereinabove. This would enable complainants, to air their grievances, before the appropriate forum and to obtain a determination thereof, at the hands of the competent authority concerned, in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

11. Even though we have concluded in the manner recorded hereinabove, we are of the view, that the Central Government, having framed Rules in the nature of Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, would be well advised, to frame similar Rules, in exercise of the power vested with it under Section 22 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, to formalise the complaint redressal mechanism, including the period of limitation within which a complaint can be filed, and the statutory authority concerned which shall adjudicate upon the same, including the appellate and other redressal mechanisms, leading to a final conclusive determination. We, therefore, hereby recommend, that the Central Government, within the framework of Section 22 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, deliberate on the issue, and take a conscious decision thereon, and to finalize a similar statutory framework for radio programmes, as well. Till the above issue is considered and finalized, the existing mechanism of complaint redressal shall remain in place.”

31. That in light of the above it is amply clear that there is a mechanism existing in place which can be resorted to by the Petitioners and intervenors. The answering Respondent is filing this short counter affidavit and will also further bring on record more materials which are a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India.
DEPONENT

(Suresh Chavhanke)


VERIFICATION
I, the above named deponent, do hereby verify that the contents of para 1 to 31 of this affidavit are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and nothing material has been concealed therefrom.
Verified at New Delhi on this 16th day of September ,2020.
DEPONENT

(Suresh Chavhanke)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
I.A. No.  OF 2020

IN 

WRIT PETITION (C) No. 956 OF 2020


IN THE MATTER OF:
Firoz Iqbal Khan (Petitioners) Versus Union of India and others (Respondents)


APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM FILING NOTARIZED COUNTER AFFIDAVIT 

TO,

THE ADDITIONAL REGISTRAR

INCHARGE, FILING COUNTER OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

THE HUMBLE APPLICATION OF THE RESPONDENT ABOVENAMED

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:

1. It is submitted that the deponent in pursuance of order dated 15.09.2020 passed in this case is filing present affidavit.

2. It is most respectfully submitted that at the present the Applicant/Respondent No. 5 is not in a position to get the Affidavit notarized due to the situation arising out of Pandemic Covid-19.

3. That the Applicant/Respondent No. 5 undertakes to file notarized affidavit immediately on normalcy of the situation.

4. That in the interest of justice present counter-affidavit may be entertained without filing notarized affidavit.

PRAYER

It is therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may graciously pleased to :

a) Exempt the Respondent No. 5 from filing notarized counter affidavit; and

b) Pass such other order or orders as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of this case.

FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE RESPONDENT AS IN DUTY BOUND SHALL FOREVER PRAY.

Filed by: 

VISHNU SHANKAR JAIN

Advocate for Respondent No. 5

New Delhi

Date: 16th September, 2020

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Click on the Google Drive link below for the ANNEXURES:

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