The Press Trust of India reported that the government of India has put on hold its earlier directive to take news channel NDTV India off-air for one day.
Quoting unnamed sources, the news agency said the Information & Broadcasting ministry decided to put the move on hold.
The move had been roundly condemned by media organizations, including the Editors’ Guild, arguably the most influential of them, as well as various press clubs across the country.
The one-day ban was supposed to have come into effect from Nov 9.
NDTV today moved the Supreme Court against the ban as well.
The channel has maintained that it was not the only channel who revealed operational details of the ongoing anti-terrorist operations in the aftermath of the Uri attacks last month.
“We now update that NDTV Ltd and others have filed a writ petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging the said order, inter-alia, challenging the constitutional validity of the said order and the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed,” the company had updated its shareholders and others.
Vineet Jain, head of India’s largest media conglomerate, seemed to welcome the move.
“Gov should have no role in this decision but an independent regulator should decide. Small fines &apology on Tv is enough,” he tweeted at the same time as the latest news broke.
On the other side, Subash Chandra, chairman of NDTV’s competitor Zee TV, said the channel should have been banned for ever.
Indian television channels have a long history of ‘live coverage’ of anti-terrorist operations. Some of these live coverage tends to cause inconvenience to security forces by revealing their position outside the target of their operations and so on.
Security forces, busy with the core operation, often do not get the time to move media back so that crucial details are not revealed.
In the notice to the channel, NDTV India was also reported indicted for its reporter revealing on air information such as how many personnel were involved and so on.
NDTV said such information was shared by most of its competitors.