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SC asks Centre to produce materials that back MediaOne ban

SC asks Centre to produce materials that back MediaOne ban

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice in regards to a plea challenging the Kerala High Court order upholding the Centre's decision not to renew the broadcasting licence to popular Malayalam news channel- Media One TV.

The SC bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Suyra Kant and Vikram Nath asked the Centre to produce all the materials and documents on which the Kerala High Court had relied for upholding the ban.

The court will also hear on March 15 a plea by the channel seeking an interim order to resume the operations. In addition to the petition filed by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd against the High Court verdict upholding the ban on MediaOne , the General Secretary of the Kerala Journalists' Union, E.S. Subhash and editor Pramod Raman had filed an appeal in the court on behalf of the channel's employees.

According to the editor's petition, neither the owners of the MediaOne channel nor the more than 320 employees have ever been involved in treason. The petition filed by KUWJ alleges that denial of employment without being given an opportunity to respond to the allegations is a violation of fundamental rights. The decision of the Central Government is an encroachment on media freedom. The petitions also allege that it is a violation of natural justice to terminate the broadcast without giving a hearing to the channel owners and employees.

Media One was banned by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to give clearance to the channel, citing "security reasons". But the Ministry did not intimate or disclose what the security threats to the nation are.

On February 9, a single bench of the Kerala High Court upheld the ban on the channel.

A division bench of the Kerala High Court on March 2 upheld the ban on the channel, dismissing appeals filed by the management and journalists who had challenged the February 9 order.

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TAGS:MediaOne ban Supreme Court Freedom of speech 
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