MediaOne Law Insider

Tanya Gupta

Published on: March 7, 2022 at 17:57 IST

An Appeal filed by Malayalam News Channel MediaOne Challenging the Central Government’s decision to annul the Channel’s Broadcasting License to be heard by the Apex Court.

Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave raised issue with the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. He requested an expedited listing because Press Freedom is Jeopardized.

Dushyant Dave stated, “We have 350 employees. The Right to Information and Press is at stake. We have functioned since 11 years and due to some MHA secret files we are banned. This is a serious matter”.

“List on Friday,” said NV Ramana.

The Kerala High Court’s Decision to Uphold the Ban imposed by the Central Government was challenged by MediaOne’s Appeal.

A Single-Judge dismissing MediaOne’s Plea against the decision of the Central Government was Upheld by the Divisional Bench of Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly on Wednesday.

The Decision of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to annul the Channel’s License was Upheld by a Single-Judge, Justice N Nagaresh on February 8, 2022.

The Information handed over to the Court in a Sealed Cover, according to the Court, clearly indicates that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had ample reason for denying Security Clearance to the Channel, consequently Legitimizing the Ban.

The Appeal before the Division Bench purported that the Central Government’s desperation to revoke the Channel’s Licence indicated the presence of some pre-scripted motive stimulated by ill-will towards the Channel.

The Channel was taken Off Air on January 31, after which they Filed a Petition with the High Court resulting in the postponement of the implementation of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s Order for 2 days, and then until February 7, 2022.

On January 5, 2022, a Notice was issued to Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited, Channel’s Owner, stating that the Government can cancel Licenses based on Public Order and National Security, and to state why their License should not be Cancelled considering they have not obtained Security Clearances from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Central Government told the High Court that the Decision to revoke their Licence was motivated by genuine National Security concerns and submitted Sealed Cover Information to contribute to their decision.

In 2020, another Malayalam Channel, Asianet, was obstructed for 48 hours for covering the Delhi Riots, which, Officials claim were covered in a way that “Highlighted the Attack on Places of Worship and siding towards a particular Community.”

Another Media Service Company, MediaGuru has moved to Delhi High Court concerning a similar matter.

Also Read: Kerala High Court Upholds Telecast Ban on Media One Channel

Kerala High Court: MediaOne Appeals against Single-Judge Order Upholding Ban on Channel

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