Day after Lokshahi moved court, Delhi HC tells channel to take corrective steps

The government has ciaimed that the operators of the channel were not the same as those in whose name the licence was issued.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
The Delhi High Court

A day after Marathi news channel Lokshahi approached the Delhi High Court seeking relief, the court has told its owners to take corrective steps and show that the activities of the channel are under their control, Bar and Bench reported.

The media outlet had moved the court two days after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry suspended its licence, banning its broadcast for 30 days. The Centre had said that operators of the channel were not the same as those in whose name the licence had been issued.   

The matter was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora by advocate Jayant Mehta for urgent listing on Thursday.  

The I&B ministry sent the suspension order to the channel at 6 pm on January 9 and soon took it off air, said Mehta, adding that the order was passed “without any reason,” after the media outlet answered the ministry’s show cause notice.  

The channel’s licence was suspended citing “blatant and continuous” violations of policy guidelines. This is the second such action against the TV news outlet within a period of five months. The I&B ministry had imposed a 72-hour ban on the channel on September 22 last year after it aired a “sexually explicit” video allegedly featuring BJP leader Kirit Somaiya. 

The channel has been in constant trouble since the Somaiya video report was aired on July 17 last year. The video which went viral triggered a political storm in Maharashtra, and subsequent police action.

Lokshahi Marathi editor-in-chief Kamlesh Sutar told Newslaundry that the news channel has been operational for about four years but the ministry had “started picking out problems” with it over the last five months. 

He said the broadcasting ban had come as a “shock” and also pointed to “targeted action”. 

Newslaundry reported on the controversy in detail. Read here.

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