NDTV note on violation of norms not unacceptable: Modi government tells Supreme Court


The government today told the Supreme Court that NDTV India has not apologised but only sent a note over alleged violation of telecast norms during the Pathankot terror strike which is not acceptable.

The Centre has put in abeyance the ban after the NDTV group had moved the apex court against the ban imposed for November 9.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that the note from the TV channel does not seek apology in “explicit” terms and hence cannot be accepted.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the channel, said then the channel would prefer hearing of its petition.

Kumar also agreed to the hearing of the petition filed by the channel against the order of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for it to go off air for a day in November last year.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

On March 24, the government had insisted that the channel tender an apology in explicit terms for violating the telecast norms.

The channel had then said it was ready to furnish a letter clarifying that it does responsible journalism and the reportage consistently takes care of confidentiality issues.

It had suggested that the Centre should call a meeting to clarify and lay down clear guidelines.

On November 8 last year, Attoney General Mukul Rohatgi had informed the court that the decision to ban transmission on November 9 had been put on hold by the government.

He had said that NDTV would be given a hearing by the inter-ministerial committee before which the channel had made a representation for a review of the decision directing NDTV India to go off air.

NDTV has challenged the constitutional validity of the provision of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act under which the order was issued.

The ban was widely condemned by journalists and editors with their bodies drawing a parallel between the move and the Emergency of the 1970s when basic constitutional rights, including the freedom of the press, had been curtailed.


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