MIB puts NDTV India ban on hold until further notice

MUMBAI: The twists and turns in l?affaire NDTV continue.  The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) late in the evening today issued another order stated that its earlier diktat banning Hindi TV news channel NDTV India for a day on 9 November 2016 is to be held in ?abeyance until further orders.?  What this means is that NDTV need not pull the plug on its Hindi news channel for a day for violations during its coverage of  the Pathankot terrorist attack earlier this year.

The reason the MIB has stated is that NDTV has made a representation to it , which it is currently examining. And until it does so fully, the earlier order prohibiting transmission or retransmission of NDTV India under the Cable TV Networks Regulation Act is on hold.

Earlier today, the NDTV management approached the Supreme Court challenging the MIB?s directive.

And NDTV co-founder and executive chairperson Prannoy Roy met with I&B minister Venkaiah Naidu later in the day exhorting him that his channel?s views on it had perhaps not been fully and adequately appreciated.  Roy also wanted the decision to be reviewed. Following this, a new order was issued by the MIB putting its earlier order on hold.

 ?Clearly the Modi government and the MIB have both faced a lot of political heat on account of the ban. It probably had not idea how much of verbal artillery fire it would face from the fourth estate when it took its step to ban NDTV India,? says a media observer. ?It?s good that the MIB is taking it as it comes and has retracted its order temporarily until it examines NDTV?s stand. At least it will be able to say it gave the network a chance to make its representation and redeem itself in the public?s eyes which is stating that harsh days are ahead for the media. That the era of the Indira Gandhi emergency is upon us.?

Earlier today Zee group chairman and BJP MP  Subhash Chandra had said that the actions against NDTV were in order and that instead of a day long ban, a lifelong ban against it should be issued. He also added that even the Indian courts would not overrule the MIB verdict as it had threatened Indian security with its reportage.

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