New Delhi: Just days after the government ordered NDTV to black out its Hindi channel for one day this week, NDTV has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ban, calling it unconstitutional.
According to a statement filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange, NDTV has submitted a writ petition with the Supreme Court, challenging “the validity of the order and the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed.”
Last week, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had ordered the network’s Hindi channel NDTV India to go off air for 24 hours on November 9, alleging the channel disclosed “sensitive” information during its coverage of the Pathankot anti-terror operations earlier this year. NDTV has strongly protested the ban, saying its reporting of the incident wasn’t different to what other national television networks and news organisations were already reporting.
The NDTV ban has also been strongly condemned by the media with the Editors Guild calling it a “violation” of press freedoms, likening it to the country’s dark days of the Emergency, during which several press freedoms were curtailed between 1975 and 1977.
In its order, the government contended the channel’s reporting of the “ammunition stockpiled in the airbase, MiGs, fighter planes, rocket launchers, mortars, helicopters, fuel tanks which was likely to be used by the terrorists themselves or their handlers to cause massive harm not only to national security, international standing of the country but also life of civilians and defence personnel.”