Punjab: HC refuses to stay ban on telecast of 'Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush' TV serial

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana on Monday refused to stay the ban on cable telecast of television serial -- 'Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush' -- imposed by the District Commissioners (DCs) across Punjab on Saturday on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

According to an official statement by Punjab government, the ban on the telecast of the controversial serial stays for the time being, with the court adjourning the matter for September 12, 2019.

During a special hearing fixed on a petition by Colors TV channel, Justice TS Dhindsa declined to grant a stay of orders passed by various DCs, in their capacity as District Magistrates.

Arguing the case on behalf of Punjab government, Additional Advocate General Rameeza Hakeem said: "The decision to ban the telecast of the serial has been taken on the ground that Valmiki Ji had been portrayed in a negative light, hurting the religious and other sentiments of the Valmiki community in the state."

During the hearing, which went beyond 5 pm, Colors TV contended that the ban orders had been passed without adhering to the principle of natural justice and without the ingredients of Section 19 of the Cable Operators Regulation Act.

The channel also placed on record an offer from the producers of the serial to enter a dialogue with the Secretary, Home, to discuss the contentious scenes. They offered to delete the scenes that portrayed Valmiki in objectionable light.

The Court called upon the Additional Advocate General to take instructions in the matter, especially on the offer made by the producers to delete the scenes in question.

Rameeza later said, "The offer would be considered by the state government, whose response would be submitted before the court on the next date of hearing."

Chief Minister Singh on Saturday had directed an immediate ban on television serial -- Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush.

The ban came in the backdrop of widespread protests across the state by the Valmiki community over alleged misrepresentation of facts in the serial.

Expressing anguish over the incident of violence which erupted during the state shutdown and protests, Singh warned of strict action against anyone found trying to disrupt the state's peace and communal harmony.

They alleged that the serial showcases distorted facts and incorrect history of Valmiki.

Endorsing the religious sentiments of the Valmiki community on the issue, the Chief Minister had also written to the Government of India to instruct the Direct To Home (DTH) channels to stop the telecast of the serial.