Friday, March 06, 2015 | UPDATED 09:28 IST
BBC airs rape film;  govt slaps noticeRajnath Singh, Home Minister

BBC airs rape film; govt slaps notice

06 Mar 2015 | 9:28 AM

NEW DELHI: Within hours of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) airing the controversial Delhi gangrape documentary, the government served a legal notice on the British media giant.

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Tribune News Service


New Delhi, March 5  

Within hours of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) airing the controversial Delhi gangrape documentary, the government served a legal notice on the British media giant. 

The notice was sent to the channel after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: "The BBC should not have aired the documentary...strict action will be taken against the channel." The BBC aired 'India's Daughter' in the United Kingdom on Wednesday around 10 pm local time. It was not telecast in India.

"The BBC faces action as there was no prior approval for telecast of any such film. Also, the channel didn't take approval for the commercial use of the documentary. We have served the notice and waiting for their response. Further course of action is awaited," said Home Ministry sources.

Rajnath spoke to Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asking him to ensure that the video is removed from all social media sites. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi said: "The channel that aired the Nirbhaya documentary will not be forgiven," he said.

The Delhi police also sent a letter to the Telecom and Communications Ministry urging it to block the access to the documentary online. In 2013, the government had asked international social media platforms to block videos exhorting attacks on people of north-eastern origin. The videos had led to panic and a mass exodus of N-E population from Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said their main concern is to ensure that the documentary is not broadcast in the country and efforts are being made to block it from appearing on websites. “...our objective is that any assertion which transgresses the penal laws of the country that assertion should not be broadcast and disseminated,” he said.

The police will also question Leslee Udwin, who left for the UK on Wednesday. The documentary, which created a furore in Parliament, has an interview with Mukesh Singh, one of the six rapists of the brutal December 16 Delhi gangrape. The film identifies the victim, a 23-year-old  paramedical student, with her media-given name "Nirbhaya". The girl died of multiple injuries inflicted by the rapists.  The Delhi Court had upheld the restraining order  which stopped the media from publishing, broadcasting, telecasting or uploading the interview on the internet.

Originally, the BBC had decided to telecast the film on March 8, coinciding with International Women's Day. The channel, however, advanced the telecast. Justifying the telecast, the BBC said: “This harrowing documentary, made with the full support and cooperation of the victim's parents, provides a revealing insight into a horrific crime that sent shockwaves around the world and led to protests across India demanding changes in attitudes towards women.”

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