Regulators

NDTV ban: SC to hear appeal today

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MUMBAI: The Supreme Court in New Delhi is on Monday scheduled to hear the appeal filed by NDTV against the ban imposed on its NDTV India channel for telecasting security-related information linked to the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air force base earlier this year.

India's highest court had, on November 6, deferred the hearing in the case to 5 December, citing reason of no urgency for its hearing. Information and broadcasting ministry had asked NDTV India to go off-air on 9 November after the government accused it of airing sensitive information related to the terror attack on Pathankot base in January.

NDTV had, however, refuted the allegations stating that other channels had also reported the same. Information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu however supported the ban, stating that it was in the interest of India's security.

Major media organisations and journalists condemned the ban and protested against it, comparing it with the emergency when the right of the freedom of press was violated.

Naidu had earlier said that there have been only two cases in the past two years and the current year where the government put on hold its orders asking TV channels to prohibit transmission for limited time.

These relate to channel DY 365 for a news broadcast on 12 June 2014 and the NDTV India for a report on 4 January 2016, Naidu told the Parliament. In both cases, he said, the channels had made representations to the ministry which were under consideration.

In a separate case, Prannoy Roy and family-controlled NDTV heaved a sigh of relief. The channel had got a notice from SEBI in June 2016 for alleged violation of takeover norms with respect to timely disclosure of share transactions of its promoters. With regards to their petition to the Delhi High Court, the date of the hearing, which was 29 November. was adjourned to 17 January 2017.

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