Kerala HC upholds Centre’s decision to ban telecast of news channel MediaOne

Kerala HC upholds Centre's decision to ban telecast of news channel MediaOne

The Kerala High Court has upheld the  Centre’s decision to ban telecast of news channel MediaOne.


The petition was filed by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd — which operates MediaOne — its employees and a journalists’ union challenging the Centre’s decision. 

On February 2, the High Court had till February 7 extended its interim order putting on hold the Centre’s bar on MediaOne’s telecast. While extending the interim order, the high court also called for the MHA files in relation to the denial of security clearance to the news channel.

The central government had barred the telecast of the channel on January 31 citing security clearances. During an earlier hearing, the Centre told the high court that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denied security clearance to MediaOne over national security concerns based on intelligence inputs.

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During Monday’s hearing, senior advocate S Sreekumar, appearing for the channel, argued that security clearance was never denied to the news channel, rather it was for another channel called MediaOne Life. He also pointed out that the channel had applied for renewal and not a fresh security clearance, hence showing that it was given earlier.

Assistant Solicitor General V Manu, appearing for the central government, responded by stating that a security clearance once issued cannot continue forever. 

Decision of the Kerala HC

The single bench of Justice Justice N. Nagaresh held that after perusing the files from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, it has found intelligence inputs that justify the denial of security clearance to the channel.

“Going through the files, I find that the Ministry has called for intelligence inputs. Based on the intelligence inputs, the committee of officers has found that security clearance should not be given. The Ministry has decided to accept the finding of the Committee of Officers. There are inputs justifying the denial of security clearance. Therefore I am dismissing the writ petition,” the court said.

“This court is not inclined to interfere with the denial of renewal of the petitioner’s licence. The writ petition fails and is accordingly dismissed”, the order read.

Case: Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited v. Union of India and connected matters

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