Offensive content: Cops say convict's interview created fear

Delhi Police on Wednesday briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the BBC documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ which features an interview of the December 16 rapist Mukesh Singh.

“I met the Home Minister and discussed many issues, including the documentary made on the accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case. I told the minister about the FIR registered on Tuesday,” Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi told media.

He added that the force will focus on the offensive content and ensure that it is not broadcast in the interest of maintaining public order. “We are concerned with the criminality of the event. As far as violation of penal laws is concerned, that will be our domain. Violation of the permission granted will be taken care by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as by Tihar Jail,” Bassi said.

Police also informed BBC and local TV channels about the restraining order obtained from Patiala House Court. Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has also been asked to ensure compliance of the court’s order.

Police said the FIR was registered on the basis of “allegations” that filmmaker Leslee Udwin had interviewed the convict.

“As per media reports, Mukesh made malicious, derogatory, offensive, insulting remarks against women, causing harassment and disrepute. These excerpts of the interview as published are highly offensive and have already created a situation of tension and fear among women in society,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) Rajneesh Garg.

BBC and NDTV 24x7 had earlier announced that they will telecast the documentary on Sunday. Police felt Mukesh’s interview may lead to widespread public outcry and serious law and order problem, as in the aftermath of the gang-rape in December 2012.

“Therefore, in the interest of justice and maintenance of public order, an application was made in court seeking restraining order from publishing, transmitting, uploading and broadcasting the interview,” Garg added.

Metropolitan Magistrate Puneet Pahwa issued directions that the documentary shall not be uploaded, transmitted or published through any web portal or print or any other media till further orders.

The case is under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505-1B (intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code as well as section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.

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