Ministry of Information and broadcasting suspended the licence of Malayalam television channel MediaOne TV and the channel stopped its broadcast for a few hours yesterday. However, Kerala High Court stepped in and deferred the order of the Ministry for two days.
The ministry had removed its name from list of permitted channels in India. The ministry denied permission for the channel’s renewal of license after the “Union home ministry’s refusal to give security clearance”.
MediaOne TV had applied for broadcast permissions to be renewed from September 30, 2021 to September 29, 2031.
In a statement, Mediaone TV editor Pramod Raman said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has imposed a broadcasting ban on the channel.
“The ministry has said the ban was due to security reasons, but the channel is yet to get the details on it. The Union Government has not made the details about the ban available to Mediaone TV. We have started legal action against the ban. After completing the process, the channel would be back to the audience. We are suspending the broadcasting temporarily with the hope that justice will prevail at last,” the statement read.
The channel stopped its broadcast around noon yesterday. The owners of the channel approached Kerala high court and acting on the petition Justice N Nagaresh stayed the implementation of the government directive until its next hearing on Wednesday and asked Additional Solicitor General S Manu to get instructions from the Union ministry on the matter.
In 2020, MediaOne TV was taken off air after the I&B Ministry said it violated provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 during its coverage of the violence in Delhi linked to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The notification was over a Delhi-based correspondent who claimed “vandals had fired at an anti-CAA protest site from a rooftop from 2 pm to 9 pm and around five anti-CAA protesters were injured”.
A copy of the transmission was examined by the ministry, which said it attacked the government for its “cold-shouldered approach towards anti-CAA protesters” and criticised Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against a “provocative speech” by unnamed BJP leader in Jafrabad, one of the areas hit by violence.
MediaOne is owned by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd, many of whose investors are members of the Kerala chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.