The Supreme Court today decided to hear next month the petitions filed by NDTV challenging the government’s direction to its Hindi news channel NDTV India to go off air for a day, a decision which has now been put on hold.
The apex court decided to post the matter on December 5 after NDTV’s counsel and senior advocate Fali S Nariman and Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said there was no real urgency as the decision to ban the transmission on November 9 has been put on hold by the government.
A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana was told by the Attorney General that NDTV will be given a hearing by the inter-ministerial committee before whom it has made a representation for a review of the decision directing NDTV India to go off the air for allegedly violating the telecast norms during the Pathakot terror incident.
NDTV has challenged the constitutional validity of the provision of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act which was attracted against it.
The government had yesterday decide to put on hold its decision after the top brass of the NDTV had met Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
NDTV India had yesterday moved the Supreme Court against the government’s order banning its telecast for a day on November 9 for its Pathankot coverage.
On its website, NDTV has refuted the allegations and pointed out that other channels and newspapers had reported the same information.
The ban has been widely condemned by journalists and editors with all press councils drawing parallels to the Emergency of the 1970s when basic constitutional rights including the freedom of the press were blatantly violated, the channel said on its website.