I&B Ministry Stops BBC Documentary on Nirbhaya Rapist From Being Aired

The government decision came in the wake of the wide-spread protests against the defamatory comments made by the convict in the interview.

Published: 03rd March 2015 11:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2015 12:32 AM   |  A+A-


As shrill protest mounts over the controversial interview by the BBC of one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case, Information and Broadcasting Ministry  issued an advisory against broadcasting it.

"The ministry has issued an advisory preventing the documentary from being aired keeping in mind the implications of the programme," a ministry source told TNIE online.

The government decision came in the wake of the wide-spread protests against the defamatory comments made by the convict in the interview.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to make a statement on the issue on Wednesday.

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Reports said the MHA has sought a report from Tihar jail authorities over granting permission to conduct the interview inside the prison.

Meanwhile Delhi Police have obtained restrain orders barring media from broadcasting and publishing the interview.

In shocking comments, Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts of the December 16, 2012 gang rape of the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in Delhi, blamed the victim for the fatal sexual assault on her.

Mukesh Singh said women who go out at night had only themselves to blame if they attracted the attention of molesters.

In an interview from jail for a BBC documentary which was to be aired on March 8, Mukesh Singh said: "A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy."

Interview sparks off debate on media ethics

Women's rights activists had come out strongly against the airing of an interview of one of those convicted in the December 16 gang rape, terming it "totally unacceptable" and "very disturbing".

"This is very, very disturbing. The case is still pending," Akhila Shivdas of the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) said.

Women's rights activist Ranjana Kumari told the media: "This is totally unacceptable. We have to draw an ethical boundary. I do not understand why they are doing it (airing the interview)."

Former Additional Solicitor General of India Indira Jaising, in a letter to a channel which was scheduled to air the interview, said: "During the trial, police and prosecution had sought a trial in camera, so that the press could not report in proceedings in court.

"The court passed an order restraining the electronic media from entering the court room to report. The print media were responsible in their reporting, the prosecution and the police refused to address the press during and after the trial.

"It is in this context that the media is expected to play a responsible role, aiding the delivery of justice and not frustrating it."

"It also reveals how foreign journalists and filmmakers are given permission to interrogate criminals in jails which is also illegal and encourages foreigners apart from Indians to voyeurism of this kind," the letter said.

Barkha Singh, chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, said: "This defames the nation. How could they be given permission for interview?"

BJP parliamentarian Kirron Kher said: "Mentality needs to be changed. They don't consider women human beings."

Delhi Police on Tuesday said it was moving court against the airing of the BBC documentary interviewing the convict.

(With IANS inputs)

India Matters


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