The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging various provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 following the Information and Broadcasting Ministry's recent decision to prohibit telecast of two Malayalam news channels for 48 hours for their coverage of communal violence in Delhi last month.
Dismissing the plea in limine (at the preliminary stage), a division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly said the petitioner was not an aggrieved party in the case.
In his plea, Harish Vasudevan, an advocate, alleged that being critical towards RSS and Delhi Police was termed as a reason for the prohibition of telecast of a News Channel for 48 hours. He also pleaded to declare that Rule 6(1)(a) and Rule6 (1)(i) of Cable Television Network Rules 1994, was violative of Article 19(1)(a) and Article 14 of the Constitution of India and ultravires to the parent Act.
The channels were suspended for 48 hours over their coverage of last month's communal violence in Delhi, with the official orders saying they covered events on February 25 in a manner that "highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community."