Ban on NDTV India put on hold for now, says I&B Ministry sources

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 07 November 2016, 11:13 PM
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sources on Monday said that the NDTV India November 9 blackout case is being reviewed and the ban for one day on the channel has been put on hold for now.

Earlier on Monday, NDTV India had moved the Supreme Court against the government’s order banning its telecast for a day on November 9 for its coverage of the Pathankot terror attack.

The petition challenges the Constitutional validity of the government order, the channel said in filing to the stock exchanges. 

In the filing, NDTV said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had directed stopping of transmission or re-transmission of its Hindi news channel, NDTV India for a day from 00.01 hrs of November 9, 2016 till 00.01 hrs of November 10, 2016.

“We now update that NDTV Ltd and others have filed a writ petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging the said order, inter-alia, challenging the constitutional validity of the said order and the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed,” the company said. 

Here is what Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday:

#BJP has never called any PM 'khoon ka dalal'. This is the kind of freedom people have now

#Congress has no right to criticise, if they point fingers, it will revert to them. They've curtailed press & civil freedom during emergency

#Whereas we are worried about daylight portrayal of terror activities with running commentary on whereabouts of ammo depot, etc

#21 channels were banned during UPA regime, some were banned for airing midnight masala

#People who are criticising this action (ban on TV channels) are the same people who had put behind bars an artist for cartoons

#During emergency Opposition was put behind bars, democratic rights were trampled, civil liberty were curtailed, censorship was imposed on media

#Democracy has never been this vibrant, people from all walks of life feel they have a say in Govt issues

On Sunday, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the NDA government is committed to freedom of press but media should use it keeping in mind the interests of the nation and the people.

The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister also said the well-being of the country and society should be kept in mind before broadcasting or publishing any news, and stressed that news and views should not be mixed.

“A big discussion is going on in the country that there should be freedom of press. It should compulsorily be there and the government is committed to this. But, there is a need to think. We are citizens first and then the journalists.  That’s my view,” he said.

“Our government believes in freedom of press and wants the media to truly appreciate the value of such freedom so that it is best used in the interest of the country and the people,” Naidu said addressing a programme for Urdu journalists here.

He said while giving/broadcasting news, one should keep in mind the interests of society and nation first.

“The news you are giving should not promote clashes between groups, religions or create unrest in society. The news should not cause harm to the nation’s interests. There should be self-restraint (in following rules),” Naidu said.

Journalists should remember that freedom of expression is best utilised only when the value of such freedom is fully appreciated, he said, adding that when this freedom is not exercised judiciously, our existing laws provide for necessary interventions.

He advised that journalists must always look for information, but must run the news only after confirmation.

“Be nearer to truth and keep away from sensationalism. But what is happening in the electronic media is sensationalism,” he said.

Stating that there are some regulations that media should not preach, something which is anti-national; not propagate against the interest of the country aspects like obscenity, vulgarity, encouraging violence, Venkaiah asked electronic media and cinema should seriously think about how to avoid vulgarity, obscenity and violence.

He said, “The important thing in media is credibility... which is very important...but now credibility is missing in most of the media, which is unfortunate. We must always work for credibility.” 

(With inputs from agencies)