Delhi High Court bars media on accusing man of forceful conversion

Petitioner Azmat Ali Khan, a classical singer, told the high court that the Delhi Police was investigating the allegations against him.
Delhi High court. (File Photo)
Delhi High court. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi High Court on Friday directed media outlets including Sudarshan News and social media platforms like YouTube, Google, and Twitter to block links to news reports accusing a Muslim man of forcefully converting a woman to Islam.

“Considering that there is a severe threat to independent investigation in the FIR and to the safety and security of the Petitioner, as is evident from the comments and videos which have been placed before this Court, it is directed that the links which have been set out in paragraph 11 (of the petition) shall be immediately blocked for public viewing till the next date of hearing”, Justice Prathiba Singh directed.

The single-bench judge also issued notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), Press Council of India (PCI), News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) and Google LLC, Twitter Inc.

Petitioner Azmat Ali Khan, a classical singer, told the high court that the Delhi Police was investigating the allegations against him. His lawyer submitted that the videos released by Sudershan News and other platforms are extremely derogatory and the comments on the youtube platform show that there is a threat to his life as well. He submitted that the reports are in the form of fake news and threats are severely jeopardising his life, reputation, and safety.

It is stated that an FIR has been lodged by a lady with whom he was in a relationship for the last eight years. The allegations in the FIR are currently under investigation by the concerned Police authorities, the court was informed. The judge added that “it is a question of his security. If they (channels) don’t block it, you (social media platforms) block it. My directions are clear. It has to be blocked by everybody.” 

The court watched some of the videos pointed out by the petitioner’s lawyer who said the videos released by Sudarshan News and other platforms are extremely derogatory.

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