Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Kerala High Court Temporarily Defers Centre's Ban On News Channel MediaOne

Hannah M Varghese
31 Jan 2022 11:22 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Temporarily Defers Centres Ban On News Channel MediaOne
x

The Kerala High Court on Monday deferred the order issued to popular Malayalam news channel MediaOne by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting revoking its license to broadcast till the next hearing date.Justice N. Nagaresh posted the matter to be considered on Wednesday and issued notice to Planetcast Media Services Ltd, the third respondent. (Planetcast Media Services is the...

The Kerala High Court on Monday deferred the order issued to popular Malayalam news channel MediaOne by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting revoking its license to broadcast till the next hearing date.

Justice N. Nagaresh posted the matter to be considered on Wednesday and issued notice to Planetcast Media Services Ltd, the third respondent. 

(Planetcast Media Services is the teleport operator who was directed by the Ministry to block the petitioner channel's uplinking with immediate effect.) 

"The implementation of Exhibit P1 (impugned order) shall be deferred till day after tomorrow," the Court observed in its order. 

ASGI S. Manu appearing for the respondents have been directed to get detailed instructions on the matter.

Although the ASGI vehemently objected to the passing of an interim order, the Court opined that the broadcasting should not be disrupted till the case was decided. 

To this, the ASGI submitted that it was not an essential service, but the Judge was inclined to pass an interim order anyway. 

It was further contended that the Centre had adequate reasons to revoke the channel's license and that since such a ban was imposed citing security reasons, the Court should not interfere in the matter. 

The developments ensued in a writ petition filed by the television channel, owned by Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited, hours after the Ministry suspended its telecast citing security concerns.

The Centre had earlier issued permission enabling the petitioner channel to uplink and downlink TV programmes, and this permission was valid till 29.09.2021. 

Senior Advocate S. Sreekumar appearing for the petitioner admitted that the channel was issued with a show-cause notice by the Centre on January 5, 2022, on why the Centre should not revoke its license in consideration of national security and public order.

However, it was pointed out that in response to this notice, the company had requested not to proceed with the notice without affording an opportunity of hearing and that they were not informed of the reasons why the security clearance was denied. 

Nevertheless, he argued that the Ministry proceeded to revoke the permission granted to the petitioner with immediate effect, thereby removing the channel from the list of permitted channels.

The counsel added that such a notice could only be served by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and not the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 

In its plea filed through Advocate Rakesh K, the channel had also contended that it has not involved itself in any sort of anti-national activity.

Therefore, it had prayed that considering the huge investment involved in the business, the order of the Ministry be withdrawn.

Case Title: Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited v. Union of India

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 49

Next Story