Kerala High Court Upholds Centre’s Telecast Ban On Malayalam News Channel MediaOne

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the Centre’s decision to bar telecast of Malayalam news channel MediaOne.

Justice N Nagaresh dismissed the plea of Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd — which operates MediaOne — challenging the central government’s January 31 decision.

The court said that the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs to deny security clearance was based on the intelligence inputs received from various agencies.

The Centre, during the arguments on Monday, had contended that a security clearance once issued cannot continue forever.

The central government had previously told the court that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denied security clearance to MediaOne over national security concerns based on intelligence inputs.

The channel, on the other hand, contended that MHA clearance was only required at the time for fresh permission/license and not at the time of renewal.

It had also contended that, according to the uplinking and downlinking guidelines, security clearance was only required at the time of application for fresh permission and not at the time of renewal of licence.

This was not the first time the channel has faced such a bar on its operation.

MediaOne, along with another Malayalam News channel, Asianet, was briefly suspended for 48 hours over their coverage of communal violence in Delhi in 2020, with the official orders saying they covered the violence in a manner that “highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community”.

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