The Kerala High Court has asked the Centre to give all files relating to revocation of the broadcasting licence of Malayalam news channel MediaOne Case by February 7, 2022.
The Petitioner has questioned the sudden revocation of the broadcasting licence on January 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.
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.
It was further contended that the channel had been granted permission in 2011 for uplinking and delinking programmes after giving security clearance by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The security clearance was required only when a new channel was going to be started.
Justice N Nagaresh asked for the home ministry files that suggested cancelling security clearance of the channel.
“What is your [Centre’s] objection?” the court asked. “Any issue with any of the directors or the news broadcast by them?”
The court while passing the order, also extended till February 7 its interim order deferring the implementation of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting order revoking the licence of the channel.
Case Title: Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited v. Union of India