Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted interim relief to Malayalam news channel MediaOne, staying the central government’s decision to revoke the channel’s security clearance.
A bench of justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath ordered that the channel can resume operations in the same manner in which it was being operated before revocation of security clearance, according to a report by Bar and Bench.
The apex court also directed the government to file its counter affidavit in the matter.
On the issue of whether the files containing adverse intelligence inputs can be disclosed to the channel or not, the court said it would keep the issue open for final disposal.
The appeal by MediaOne had challenged the Kerala high court division bench judgment which had upheld the central government’s ban.
The channel, owned by Madhyamam Broadcasting, had applied for broadcast permissions to be renewed from 30 September 2021 to 29 September 2022. MediaOne was issued a notice by the I&B ministry on 5 January revoking broadcasting permissions under the uplinking and downlinking guidelines stating that it was denied security clearance by the ministry of home affairs. In response to a show-cause notice by the ministry, the company mentioned that they are “unaware of the grounds of denial of security clearance.”
When the case was heard by the Kerala high court, the central government told the bench that the decision to revoke the license was based on credible national security concerns, however, it refused to state what the concerns raised by MHA were and contended that a party cannot insist on observing natural justice principles in a situation involving national security.