The Center’s move angered many, with the opposition Congress party calling the move “undemocratic”.
“The broadcasting of the MediaOne channel is again prohibited by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Indian government, for security reasons. The government has not been informed of the details,” said Pramod Raman, the editor of MediaOne , in a statement. here.
— MediaOne TV (@MediaOneTVLive) 1643623018000
When contacted, officials from the I&B ministry confirmed that the channel has been banned, but did not share further details.
The media house challenged the order before the Kerala Supreme Court, which postponed its execution for two days.
While deferring the order, Judge N Nagaresh also sought the Center’s stance on the plea from Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd, which operates the MediaOne channel.
Senior advocate S Sreekumar and attorney K Rakesh, who represented the media group, told the Supreme Court that the channel was not involved in anti-national activity and urged the ministry to withdraw the injunction.
Speaking to PTI, Rakesh said the ministry’s order was received around 1:00 p.m. Monday and the plea was filed at 1:45 p.m. and an urgent hearing of the case was authorized at 3:00 p.m. He confirmed that the court postponed the order until Wednesday, the next hearing date.
Assistant Attorney General S Manu, who appeared before the ministry, said he was against the plea and asked the court for time to get proper instructions from the Center.
Therefore, the court listed the case on Wednesday and suspended execution of the order until then, he added.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader in the Kerala assembly, VD Satheesan, rebuffed the I&B action.
“The ban on broadcasting the MediaOne channel without explanation was undemocratic. This is against natural justice. The government of the Union has a responsibility to state the reason behind the ban. The government is trying to change the agenda of Sangh Parivar, who has been intolerant, against unpleasant truths,” he said.
He said the ban amounts to an attack on media freedom.
MediaOne, along with another Malayalam news channel, Asianet, was briefly suspended for 48 hours for their coverage of community violence in Delhi in 2020, with official orders then saying they covered up the violence in a way that “emphasized the attack on places of worship and siding with a particular community”.
“Channel’s coverage of violence in Delhi appears biased as it deliberately targets the vandalism of CAA supporters,” the ministry’s order told Media One. towards Delhi Police and RSS.”