Kerala HC stays ban on MediaOne TV, channel will resume telecast

Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Kerala High Court on Monday stayed the order issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting revoking the broadcast license of leading Malayalam news channel Mediaone TV till the next hearing date.

Following the order, the channel has announced to resume broadcast shortly.

The leading Malayalam news channel was taken off air after the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s order to suspend the channel transmission citing “security reasons.’’

“Union government is yet to disclose the details. MediaOne will initiate legal proceedings against the ban,” Mediaone editor, Pramod Raman, conveyed in a video shared by the channel on Monday morning.

Justice N. Nagaresh posted the matter to be considered on Wednesday and issued notice to Planetcast Media Services Ltd, the third respondent, LiveLaw reported.

Planetcast Media Services is the teleport operator who was directed by the Ministry to block the petitioner channel’s uplinking with immediate effect.

Despite the objection of ASGI S. Manu to the passing of an interim stay order, the Court opined that the broadcasting should not be disrupted till the case was decided.

Politicians and activists backed the channel and called out the action “arbitrary”.

There has been no official explanation from the Ministry yet.

Appearing for Mediaone, Advocate S. Sreekumar admitted that the channel was issued with a show-cause notice by the Centre on 05 January, on why the Centre should not revoke its license in consideration of national security and public order.

According to the I&B Ministry’s uplinking and downlinking license policy, every channel needs to get a security clearance, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to get a license to broadcast in the country.

The security clearance is valid for a period of ten years, under the existing policy, after which the channel has to get it again.