Stating that the ban on MediaOne's broadcast was a matter of seriousness, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the freedom of speech and expression is an integral part of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. The Malayalam television channel MediaOne TV went off air on Monday, January 31, reportedly after its license was revoked based on an order by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B). The Union Home Ministry did not grant security clearance to the media outlet for broadcast, following which it could not renew its license.
“There should be space in the public sphere for diverse opinions. If not, the entire democracy will ultimately be in jeopardy,” the CM said and added that the society should be vigilant to ensure that such a catastrophe does not occur. He also said that the reasons for the ban is not yet known and if the reasons were serious issues, they should be examined separately and a constitutional solution should be worked out. “It is the duty of all those who believe in Democracy to ensure that Article 19 is not violated. Shutting of mouths should not be allowed in the country,” he said.
After the license of the channel was cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs denying the security clearance to Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited, the media outlet had approached the Kerala High Court. The HC issued a two-day stay on the implementation of the order.
While the Union government argued in court that the security clearance was in the interest of national security, and therefore was not a question of law, but of policy, the media outlet argued that the order was issued without an opportunity to be heard and that it was not involved in any anti-national activity, for security clearance to have been denied.