KERALA HC ASKS CENTRE TO GIVE ALL FILES IN ‘MEDIAONE’ BAN CASE

The Kerala high court on Wednesday directed the central government to produce all files relating to revocation of broadcasting licence of Malayalam news channel ‘Mediaone’ by February 7 and extended an interim stay on the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry’s decision till then.

While hearing a petition filed by the channel questioning sudden revocation of the broadcasting licence on Jan 31, assistant solicitor general S Manu, who appeared for the union government, said the ministry of home affairs (MHA) denied security clearance based on intelligence inputs which are sensitive and secret in nature.

He said as a matter of policy and interest of the national security that confidential information cannot be disclosed. He sought the interim stay be vacated saying it will defeat the very purpose of the guidelines of the I&B ministry. He said for renewal of licence security clearance from the MHA was mandatory and the channel failed to get it.

But the counsel for the channel contended that the ministry’s order was illegal and violated freedom of speech guaranteed under the constitution. He said the channel was given permission in 2011 for uplinking and downlinking programmes after getting security clearance from the MHA.

News Source : Hindustan Times

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