Kerala high court upholds Centre's ban on Malayalam channel

  • According to the I&B norms, uplinking and downlinking need to get security clearance from the home ministry.
Malayalam news channel ‘MediaOne’ controlled by the Jamat-e-Islami, went off air on Monday noon. (TWITTER/@MediaOneTVLive.)
Malayalam news channel ‘MediaOne’ controlled by the Jamat-e-Islami, went off air on Monday noon. (TWITTER/@MediaOneTVLive.)
Published on Feb 08, 2022 01:38 PM IST
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The Kerala high court on Tuesday upheld the ban imposed by the Centre on Malayalam news channel MediaOne, dismissing the petition challenging the decision. The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry suspended the channel on Monday citing security concerns. It is controlled by the Jamaat-e-Islami and is operated by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd.

After going through details submitted by the Union government, the court said charges against the channel were serious. It also noted that the decision to deny security clearance was based on the intelligence inputs received from various agencies.

On the other hand, the channel contended that security clearance by the ministry of home affairs was only required at the time for fresh permission/license and not at the time of renewal. To this, the government responded by saying that the requirement of security clearance "once issued cannot continue forever".

According to the I&B norms, uplinking and downlinking need to get security clearance from the home ministry.

This was not the first time the channel has faced such a bar on its operation. MediaOne, along with another Malayalam news channel Asianet, was briefly suspended for 48 hours over their coverage of communal violence in Delhi in 2020, with the official orders saying they covered the violence in a manner that "highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community".

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Tuesday, July 05, 2022