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SC clears TV episodes on Haryana teacher scam

SC clears TV episodes on Haryana teacher scam
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's plea seeking to restrain the telecast of TV serial Crime Patrol Dastak episode on teachers recruitment scam for which he was convicted and jailed.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir while dismissing the plea by Chautala asked Sony TV to camouflage the characters as to avoid any direct reference to the actual scam.

Chautala and others had sought a direction to restrain Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Television in India, from airing the episode of its programme 'Crime Patrol Dastak' in which the story based on the scam was to feature.

They had filed their appeals against the order of a division bench of the Delhi high court which had set aside the order of its single judge bench restraining telecast of the TV show.

The apex court had wanted to know whether the TV channel was ready to telecast the programme with a disclaimer at the beginning that the case against Chautala and others is pending in the Delhi high court where they have challenged their conviction.

Chautala, his then Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and political advisor Sher Singh Badshami had moved the high court to stop telecast of the show on the ground that it would prejudice their case. They had moved the high court against the conviction and ten-year jail term for their alleged roles in the recruitment of 3206 junior basic trained teachers in the state.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who was appearing for Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, had said in the apex court that there would be no allusion or innuendo to bribe in the show, while senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for all the convicts, had said the matter concerns balancing the right of freedom of speech and expression and rights of the accused. He had said telecast of the show would prejudice their case in HC as it would create a perception in the minds of the viewing public.
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