Decision of IB to Not Renew the Broadcast License of MediaOne Erroneous: SC

The Supreme Court (SC) lifted the telecast ban on Malayalam news channel MediaOne, imposed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (IB). The SC took note that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cited reasons of national security while submitting its response in a “sealed cover” before the Kerala High Court (KHC). The SC observed that the sealed cover procedure should be avoided if less restrictive means are available & can be adopted. The SC overturned the decision of KHC, upholding the ban by IB, stating “The action of IB while by denying security clearance to a media channel on the basis of the views which the channel is constitutionally entitled to hold produces a chilling effect on free speech & particularly on press freedom.