Star India moves SC, seeks stay on investigations

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 05:21am hrs
Star India Pvt Ltd has moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on the criminal proceedings initiated against it allegedly for hurting the sentiments of people during airing its commercial TV programme.

A Bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam while issuing notice to the Punjab government had stayed the arrest of Star India senior manager (legal) Ravi Srivastava. In the meanwhile, it will be open to Ravi Srivastava, senior manager (legal), M/S, Star India Pvt Ltd, not to appear before the investigating officer, the court directed while posting the matter for further hearing on January 6.

Star India in its soap opera Bidai in October this year had allegedly made some reference to the mythological character sage Valmiki which had led to protests. Stating that the police had registered an FIR under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, the broadcaster said that an innocent and non-offensive comment made in the programme cannot be the subject matter of FIR and the action was restrictive and violated its fundamental rights.

Sensing that the sentiments of people had been hurt, the company had removed the objectionable portion from all the subsequent telecasts, the petition said.