The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has put the decision to ban NDTV India for a day on November 9 on hold, say sources.
The ban on NDTV India had been put in place for their coverage of Pathankot terror attacks. An Inter-ministerial committee of the I&B Ministry had said that the coverage of the terror attack by the channel where revealed “crucial information” which could have been readily picked by terrorist handlers and had the potential to “cause massive harm not only to the national security, but also to lives of civilians and defence personnel.”
The ban has since its announcement invited sharp criticism by the entire media industry. Top media bodies on Monday stood in solidarity with NDTV over the one-day ban imposed on its Hindi channel and condemned the Centre’s move, saying it sends a “dangerous signal” to the entire press, the freedom of which is already under “increasing threat” in the country.
Representatives of Editor’s Guild of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps, Federation of Press Clubs, Delhi Union of Journalists, Press Club of India and senior journalists from several media houses also gave a clarion call to the fraternity for a united fight for freedom of the press.
Earlier in the day, NDTV India moved the Supreme Court against the government’s order banning its telecast for a day 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.
NDTV has refuted the allegations and pointed out that other channels and newspapers reported the same information. The I&B Ministry had claimed that when the combing operation against the terror attack in Pathankot was being reported, NDTV India reportedly revealed crucial information about ammunition stockpiled in the airbase, MIGs, fighter-planes, rocket-launchers, mortars, helicopters, fuel-tanks etc. “which was likely to be used by the terrorists or their handlers to cause massive harm”.