SC Agrees to Hear Media One Channel Plea Against Centre’s Telecast Ban

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The top court bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Raman agreed to list the petition for hearing on March 11. 

Media One had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court upheld the ban imposed on it by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea by Malayalam news channel Media One challenging the Kerala High Court order, which upheld Centre’s decision to not renew its telecast licence. The Centre had cited national security grounds to justify the ban.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli agreed to list the petition for hearing on March 11. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave mentioned the petition before the bench seeking urgent listing.

Dave submitted that for 11 years, the organisation has functioned and the channel has 350 employees and millions of viewers. Dave said, “We have been shut down due to some secret files from the home ministry and the court has justified it behind our back. It’s too serious a matter relating to the right to information and freedom of press,” After a brief hearing, the Chief Justice said: “List it on Friday”.

Media One had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court upheld the ban imposed on it by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali noted when certain issues with respect to the security of the state are concerned, the government is at liberty to decline to renew the permission granted, without disclosing the complete reasons for the non-renewal.

The high court on March 2 dismissed the appeals filed by the channel’s management and journalists challenging a February 9 single-bench order, which refused to lift the ban. — IANS

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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