September 10, 2015 3:01:02 am
The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to stay the operation of an order by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry against Tamil TV channel Sathiyam TV alleging that “insulting” comments had been made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during two shows.
The channel had approached the court with a fresh plea to stay the May 12 order, as a second showcause notice had been issued by the ministry on August 26.
During arguments before the bench of Justice R S Endlaw, advocate Chitranshul Sinha said the stay was necessary as the government could “suspend the licence of the channel”.
The channel’s plea stated that it was “not challenging the second showcause notice dated August 26, 2015, in the present proceedings”, but clarified that “the issuance of it during the pendency of the present petition has a direct impact on the present petition due to the enhanced penalties which may be imposed and which may even subsequently lead to the Petitioner/Applicant’s license being terminated”.
Under the Cable Television Networks rules, the license of a channel can be suspended for up to 90 days after a second violation, and the channel itself can be terminated if there is a third violation.
The bench, however, noted that the “second notice” issued by the ministry was “still at the stage of a showcause notice” and there was “no urgency” in the case. It will now hear the matter in January, along with the main plea challenging the May 12 order and “warning”.
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