The Supreme Court has just given a stay order regarding the Delhi High Court order which directed Comedy Central, a channel Viacom18 network, to go off air for six days. The judgement comes as a relief to the channel which has been off air since November 26, 2014.
Commenting on this Sujeet Jain, Group General Counsel - Viacom18 Media in a statement to the press said, “The Honourable Supreme Court today stayed the Delhi High Court order on the suspension of the channel, Comedy Central. We are happy to announce that the channel will resume broadcast this evening.”
Earlier Comedy Central was directed by the Delhi High Court to go off air from November 26 from 12:01 am till December 1, 2014 after it upheld Ministry of Information and Broadcast (MIB) ban for the broadcasting of offensive content. Viacom18 had earlier appealed the ban of the MIB but the Delhi High Court had upheld the ban.
The decision for the 10-day ban, (four days of which had already been carried out by the channel), came after the MIB had objected to the content on two shows namely Stand Up Club and gag show Popcorn. The bench consisting of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Rajiv Sahai upheld the 10-day ban on Comedy Central in May last year. The bench has said that the network had abused the faith reposed in it under the self-regulatory regime.
The MIB had imposed the ban on the two shows for May to June 2012. The reason for the ban stated for the show Stand Up Club was “mouthing vulgar words accompanied by obscene and suggestive gestures and gyration”. It further said that there was a man “uttering dialogues denigrating women” and further said that “the portrayal appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and values”. Whereas, regarding Popcorn the MIB ban was imposed stating that “the programme appeared vulgar, obscene and against good taste. The programme also did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children.”