Constitutional Parameters, Not 'Archaic Vedic Verses' Should Be Used To Adjudicate Issues: MediaOne In Its Appeal
MediaOne, the Malayalam news channel that had to be taken off air due to denial of security clearance by the Home Ministry (MHA) has filed an appeal before the Division Bench of Kerala High Court against the judgment of the Single Judge, upholding the denial of security clearance.
The Single Judge had held after perusing the filed produced before it by the Home Ministry that the recommendations of the Committee of Officers to the MHA and accepted by the MHA, are justified by supporting materials.
"...reliance placed by the learned single Judge on 'Atrisamhitha' also is improper as the issue involved in the matter should have been adjudicated strictly in tune with the Constitutional parameters and not by quoting archaic vedic verses and the both are one to one distinct and propound different dogma altogether", states the appeal.
Justice N. Nagaresh had quoted from the 'Atrisamhita' while holding that national security is one of the most important sovereign function of any state government. "To punish the criminals, to protect the good, to enrich the treasury by just methods, to be impartial to all and to protect the Nation – these are five fundamental duties to be performed by the State", the Court had held quoting the ancient text.
It is also contended in the appeal that without there being any violations of contraventions on the part of the channel, the licence was unilaterally and abruptly revoked without considering its reply to the notice.
The appeal states that "the threat to national security is raised as a ruse to cancel the license of the appellant, which does not have any basis at all".
It is also argued in the appeal that the channel has not telecast any program in violation of Rule 6 of the Cable Television Networks Rules.
"Yesteryears the government was tolerant to fair criticism, but the recent trend is alarming as it chokes the freedom of press and right to speech. Hereinafter no news channel will dare to broadcast any programme against the sweet will of the government as it may not be inconvenient for the government to forbid the channel by managing Intelligence reports and other materials", the appeal states.
The Single Judge had refused to its own order for a short period to enable the channel to function till their appeal is filed and considered by the Division Bench.