Shocking: Kerala High Court upholds ban on MediaOne TV, dismisses appeal

News Network
March 2, 2022

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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday, March 2, upheld the ban on Malayalam TV channel MediaOne TV. The division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chali refused to lift the ban on the channel imposed by the Union government citing “security reasons”.

Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited, which runs MediaOne TV, had approached the High Court after a single bench refused to lift the ban on the channel.

On February 8, a single-judge bench of Justice N Nagaresh had upheld the ban imposed by the Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry. The I&B Ministry did not renew the transmission licence of the channel after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) refused to give security clearance to the channel, citing “security reasons”.

After perusing through files submitted by the MHA, the single-judge bench had observed that there were material and intelligence reports supporting the ban on the channel.

The court observed that there was sufficient grounds for denying permission for renewal of the channel’s licence.

In 2020, the channel had faced a 48-hour ban in connection with its reporting of the Delhi riots that year.

“Based on the inputs from various intelligence agencies, the MHA had formed a committee of officers, which found that the security clearance for the channel should not be renewed. The MHA also considered the entire facts and decided to accept the recommendations of the committee of officers. I find that there are inputs which justify the decision of the MHA. Therefore, I propose to dismiss the petition,” the judge said.

“I am not inclined as the issue involved national security matters. I have acted on the appeal in an interim order hoping that I would find something to interfere. Now seeing the files (MHA), it would not be proper for me to extend the stay even for one hour. I understand the situation of employees and business. But what is involved is a matter of security,’’ said the judge.

“As far as the Pegasus judgment is concerned, it has been passed in the view of the right to privacy. Whereas the other judgment in Digi Cable Network would sparsely apply to the facts of this case. Therefore, I am dismissing this writ petition (challenging the ban on transmission of Media One TV),” he added.

As the 10-year permission for MediaOne TV was to expire on September 29, 2021, the company applied for its renewal for another 10 years in May last year. On December 29, 2021, the MHA denied security clearance to it, and on January 5 this year, the ministry served a notice seeking to know why its application for renewal of permission should not be closed in view of the denial of security clearance.

On January 31, the ministry issued the order barring the channel’s transmission. Hours later, the channel’s management moved the High Court which, in an interim directive, deferred the implementation of the ban order. Subsequently, the court directed the MHA to submit the relevant files before it on February 7.

The Centre had told the court that “the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that denial of security clearance to the TV channel based on intelligence inputs, which are sensitive and secret in nature, therefore, as a matter of policy and in the interest of national security, MHA does not disclose reasons for denial”.

The central government said in a situation of national security, a party cannot insist on strict observance of the principles of natural justice. In such cases, it is the duty of the court to read into and provide for statutory exclusion, if not expressly provided in the rules. Depending on the facts of the particular case, it will, however, be open to the court to satisfy itself whether there were justifiable facts, and in that regard, the court is entitled to call for the files and see whether it is a case where the interest of national security is involved, it said.

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Azar
 - 
Sunday, 13 Mar 2022

Then there is enough ground to ban Sudarshan Channel, which promotes hatred and gives rise to hindu terrorism.

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News Network
June 15,2022

Bengaluru, June 15: Karnataka Higher Education minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Wednesday said examination centres will be videographed during the Common Entrance Test (CET) for professional courses in the state this year, aimed at curbing exam malpractices.

These exams are for admissions to engineering, agriculture, veterinary, pharmacy, and other courses from June 16-18. A total of 2,16,525 candidates have registered for CET-2022, and the examination will be conducted in 486 examination centres across the state, out of which 87 are located in Bengaluru and 399 are in the rest of the state, the minister's office said in a release.

On June 16, exams for biology (morning) and mathematics (afternoon) are scheduled, while physics (morning) and chemistry (afternoon) will be held on June 17.

Kannada language test will be conducted for Horanadu and Gadinadu Kannadiga candidates at selective centres on June 18.

As many as 486 observers (assistant commissioner cadre), 972 Special Invigilation Squad members, 486 custodians, and approximately 9,600 invigilators and a total of 20,483 officers/officials have been deployed to discharge the examination duties, Narayan stated.

The questions and answers in each subject paper will be printed both in English and Kannada languages. In case of any discrepancy in the English and Kannada versions, the English version will be taken as final, he said.

A total of 1,708 candidates have registered to write the Kannada language test on June 18 which will be conducted at Bidar, Belagavi, Vijaypura, Ballari, Mangaluru, and Bengaluru.

The candidates will not be allowed to wear or carry any type of wristwatch to the examination hall/room. They should not carry any tablet or mobile or calculator to the examination hall.

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News Network
June 22,2022

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Mangaluru, June 22: In a swift operation, the Indian Coast Guard saved 15 mariners from a merchant vessel which got grounded in the Arabian sea off the Mangaluru coast on Tuesday evening.

According to Coast Guard DIG S B Venkatesh, the Coast Guard received a distress call from M V Princess Miral at 2.30 pm on Tuesday. Two Coast Guard vessels, ICGS Vikram and ICGS Amartya were diverted to the location immediately.

"The ships reached the spot by 5.30 pm and all the 15 mariners were rescued by 6 pm," he said.

The ship ran aground and water had entered the hull of the ship. There was water ingress in the holds, which prompted the crew to abandon the ship. The vessel was on its way from Malaysia to Lebanon. 

The rescued mariners were taken to New Mangaluru and will be handed over to the police and emigration department for further proceedings.

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News Network
June 23,2022

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Kabul, June 23: Afghan authorities are struggling to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people as poor communications and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials said.

“We can’t reach the area, the networks are too weak, we trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters news agency on Thursday, referring to telephone networks.

Survivors dug by hand through villages reduced to rubble by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in 20 years, and officials said the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured.

Access to the affected eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika has been hampered by road blocks due to the earthquake as well as prior landslides from recent heavy rains.

In Paktika’s hard-hit Gayan district, villagers stood atop a pile of mud bricks that once were a home. Others carefully walked through dirt alleyways, gripping onto damaged walls with exposed timber beams to make their way.

Survivors quickly prepared the district’s dead, including children and an infant, for burial.

“We ask the Islamic emirate and the whole country to come forward and help us,” a survivor, who gave his name as Hakimullah, told The Associated Press. “We are with nothing and have nothing, not even a tent to live in.”

Helicopters were used to reach the injured and deliver urgent medical supplies and food provisions. Authorities confirmed 1,800 households have been destroyed.

Sultan Mahmood, Spera district’s chief, told Al Jazeera that 29 people have been killed in the area, 42 injured and 500 homes have been destroyed, with the remote village of Afghan-Dubai being hit the hardest.

The Taliban government has appealed for international aid. Most aid agencies pulled out of the country and many governments imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of aid after the Taliban took control in August last year.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign affairs ministry’s spokesperson, told a press conference that “entire villages have been razed to the ground”.

“Despite the sanctions that have been imposed by the international community, the government has done whatever it can in its capacity and the Afghan Red Crescent has immediately dispatched emergency aid to the area, along with the Turkish Red Crescent and other agencies,” Balkhi said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that eight trucks of food and other necessities from Pakistan arrived in Paktika. He also said on Thursday that two planes of humanitarian aid from Iran and another from Qatar had arrived in the country.

Neil Turner, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Afghanistan, said in a statement that Taliban authorities had granted humanitarian agencies full access to affected areas.

However, according to Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, the Taliban did not formally request that the UN mobilise international search-and-rescue teams or obtain equipment from neighbouring countries.

Many international aid agencies are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban due to sweeping international sanctions, while others have left Afghanistan altogether after the Taliban takeover last August.

Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, reporting from the Paktika province, said World Food Programme (WFP) trucks could be seen heading to affected areas as well as convoys from other international organisations, but that poor weather conditions on Wednesday had prevented much of the aid from reaching people in need.

At the Paktika regional hospital, badly injured patients were being turned away. “The Paktika regional hospital still lacks very important resources,” Latifi said. “For instance, they don’t have a helicopter, so patients have to be sent to Kabul by road,” a journey that takes on average five hours.

The United States on Wednesday expressed sorrow and said it would look for ways to help, including through potential talks with Taliban rulers.

“President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess US response options to help those most affected,” Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said.

The Khost province, one of the most affected by the earthquake, is home to thousands of internally displaced Afghans, returnees, and refugees from Waziristan who had already been displaced.

The death toll reported as of Thursday was equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan. Those are the deadliest since 1998, when an earthquake of 6.1 in magnitude and subsequent tremors in the remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people.

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