New Delhi: Delhi High Court today wondered what purpose does the ban on a controversial documentary on December 16 gangrape case serve when it is available on internet and asked the police to submit the legal provisions under which the prohibition was imposed.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the Delhi Police to submit case records and status after the March 4, 2015 ban order.
"What purpose does the ban serve when it is available on internet? Tell us what are the legal provisions under which prohibitory orders were imposed against the documentary. What is the status of the case after the prohibitory orders," the bench asked the counsel for the police.
The court's observation came after the counsel for Delhi police conceded that the documentary is available on internet. It asked the police to file an affidavit giving details of the case by March 21.
Counsel for the petitioner contended that as per the RTI reply received, the Centre has claimed that it has all statutory powers to impose prohibitory orders on various grounds including law and order problem. He said that since the documentary was available on internet and have been seen by many, it does not have the effect of prohibitory orders and should be vacated.
The court was hearing separate PILs filed by three law students seeking lifting of the ban on the documentary 'India's Daughter' on the grounds that it was "a look at the mindset of one of the convicted rapists".
The documentary was made by Leslee Udwin and was broadcast by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It was banned by the government after its contents - including the interview of one of the rapists who showed no remorse, triggered outrage.
On the night of December 16, 2012, Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh and a juvenile had gangraped a girl in a bus and her 28-year-old male friend, who was with her.
The victim's friend, suffered injuries in the incident while the girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital.
The juvenile accused was on August 31, 2013 convicted and sentenced to three years in a reformation home, while the four others were handed down death penalty.