No urgency to hear appeal as govt has stayed the ban, Supreme Court tells NDTV

The NDA government on Monday had put a day-long ban against NDTV India on hold. The ban was imposed over the Hindi channel's coverage of the Pathankot terror attacks.

The Supreme Court on December 5 will hear the appeal filed by New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) against the day-long ban on its Hindi channel.

“There is no urgency for a hearing. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has already put a stay on the ban,” the bench observed. 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 channel on its website had refuted the allegations levelled against it by the government, claiming that most of the media houses shared the same information. The channel equated the ban with the press censorship imposed by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency in 1975.

Fresh political controversy broke out over the ban, with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi taking on the Narendra Modi government on the ban. The Congress scion claimed that democracy in the present regime was going through the darkest hours, as channels were being shut down and opposition leaders arrested for taking the government into account.