Kerala High Court deferred the Centre’s order barring the telecast of Malayalam news channel MediaOne till Wednesday. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued the order regarding the channel citing “security concerns”.
The media group reacted immediately and submitted a petition to the Kerala HC. Justice N Nagaresh issued the order deferring the ban till Wednesday, which is the date for the next hearing on the matter.
The court order said, "The implementation of Exhibit P1 (impugned order) shall be deferred till day after tomorrow."
The channel went off the air on Monday noon, and had also taken legal steps for the restoration.
The I&B Ministry had directed Planetcast Media Services, which provides broadcasting services to the channel, to block the TV channel’s uplinking with immediate effect.
The ban was issued in light of some reports suggesting that the channel had not been granted “security clearance” by the Home Ministry. MediaOne is owned by Madhyamam Broadcasting, many of whose investors are reportedly members of the Kerala chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
In January 5, 2022, the channel was issued a show-cause notice to explain to the government why the channel’s license should not be revoked.
The channel replied that they should be allowed a hearing before taking drastic measures and the working should be stopped.
The channel’s response did not amount to much and the Ministry revoked the channel’s broadcast access. As per a statement from MediaOne TV Editor Pramod Raman, the channel was not provided details on why “the ban due to security reasons” was put in place.
The Kerala High Court’s decision was challenged by Assistant Solicitor General S Manu, who was representing the Ministry. He objected to the interim order passed by the court but the Court observed that the telecast of the channel should not be stopped till the case is decided.
This is not the first time the TV channel has come under the Centre’s scrutiny. In 2020, the media channel was banned for 48 hours for violation of provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1998 for their reporting of the north-east Delhi riots.