Kerala High Court Upholds Union Govt Decision to Revoke Licence of Jamaat-e-Islami Run Malayalam Propaganda Channel Media One

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On January 31, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had banned the Jamaat-e-Islami run propaganda channel Media One with immediate effect. It declined to renew its licence after adverse inputs from the Union Home Ministry.

In a significant judgment on Tuesday (February 8), the Kerala High Court upheld the decision of the Union government to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami run Malayalam propaganda channel Media One.

“I have gone through the files. I find that the ministry has called for report from various intelligence agencies. Based on those inputs, it was found that security clearance should not be renewed. There are inputs which justify the decision. Therefore, I am dismissing the petition,” Justice N Nagaresh said in his order.

In an order issued on January 31, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had said that the Union Home Ministry has declined to give the security clearance to the channel, which is mandatory for the licence.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs has denied the security clearance to M/S. Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited for renewal of permission for uplinking and downlinking of News & Current Affairs TV channel “Media One”,” the order read.

Media One had moved Kerala High Court against the government order. The court had provided it relief till the hearing concluded in the Kerala High Court.

The previous licence of the company expired on September 29 last year, and it had applied for renewal on March 3 last year. After the Ministry of Home Affairs submitted an adverse report, the I&B Ministry had issued a Show Cause Notice (SCN) to Media One, asking why their licence should not be revoked. Finding the reply unsatisfactory, the action was initiated against Media One.

“The permission granted to M/S. Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited to uplink and downlink a News and Current Affairs TV Channel, namely ‘Media One’, is revoked with immediate effect and accordingly the name of this channel is removed from the list of permitted channels,” the ministry order had read.

Lakshadweep-based actor Aisha Sultana is facing a sedition charge for calling Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel ‘a bioweapon’ in a TV debate on Media One channel. Later, in a Facebook post, she even justified her comment.

“I had used the word bio-weapon in the TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies [have acted] as a bio-weapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that Covid-19 spread in Lakshadweep. I have compared Patel as a bioweapon, not the government or the country…. You should understand. What else should I call him…,” Sultana had written in the Facebook post.

In February last year, a complaint was lodged with the Delhi police against Media One for ‘exhorting and glorifying violence, including acts of extremist organisations in which they made attempts to destabilise and overthrow the democratically elected Central Government.’

The complainant had pointed out that Media One had actively facilitated the actions of sedition and waging war against the Nation by continuously giving false news and exhorting, encouraging and glorifying it.

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