The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday refused to stay a ban on airing of television series "Ram Siya ke Luv Kush" in Punjab.
The ban on the telecast of the controversial series stays for the time being, with the court adjourning the matter to September 12, according to an official release by the state government.
During a special hearing on a petition by Colors TV channel, Justice TS Dhindsa declined to grant a stay on the orders passed by the various district commissioners, in their capacity as district magistrates.
Arguing on behalf of the state government, Additional Advocate General Rameeza Hakeem said the decision to ban the telecast of the serial had been taken on the grounds that it has hurt the religious sentiments of the Valmiki community in the state by "portraying Valmiki ji in a negative light".
During the hearing, Colors TV contended that the ban orders had been passed without adhering to the principles of natural justice, and without the ingredients of Section 19 of the Cable Operators Regulation Act, as per the release.
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 issue and offered to delete any objectionable scenes.
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 Hakeem 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.
On Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had directed an immediate ban by the respective DCs on the telecast of the serial following protests by members of the Valmiki community who had called for a bandh on the same day.