According to reports, the apex court also issued a notice to the central government on the petition filed by Viacom 18, challenging the constitutional validity of certain sections of the Cable Television Networks Act.
The Delhi High Court had earlier this month upheld a decision by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and banned the channel for broadcasting vulgar and offensive content.
The Delhi High Court had upheld the ban, which went into effect last week before being stayed by India’s Supreme Court. Comedy Central India was off the air for six days, whereby viewers were met with a message alerting them of the disconnection and apologising for the inconvenience.
Sujeet Jain, group general counsel of the media company Viacom18 Media, a joint venture with Viacom and the Indian Broadcasting Group Network 18 that distributes Comedy Central India, provided a statement that stated, “The Supreme Court today stayed the Delhi High Court order on the suspension of the channel, Comedy Central. We are happy to announce that the channel will resume broadcast this evening.”
The ban was issued against Comedy Central India last year, after the ministry deemed episodes of Stand Up Club and PopCorn TV that aired in 2012 as obscene.
They cited dialogue and vulgar words derogatory of women to offend good taste and decency, and that the portrayal in the comedy program did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children.
The episode in question of PopCorn TV has even showed a character mimicking the act of sex with a set of dummy legs, in different locations.
While Comedy Central India has since returned to the airwaves, the ramifications from this incident could have far-reaching implications that may prevent further censorship and heavy handed punishment.
The Supreme Court judgment also issued a notice to the government, challenging the provisions of the law that allow the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to take action against televisions channels.
The case will be heard again on December 08, 2014, during which time it is expected that the court will turn it’s attention to the propriety of the actions the government should take when challenged with objectionable content by broadcasters in India.
English entertainment channel Comedy Central will now be on air again, following the Supreme Court's stay on the Delhi High Court's earlier order dire...1.5