MHA examining Media One licence issue, Shah tells MPs

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday told a group of Congress MPs, after Lok Sabha was adjourned, that the issue of a ban on news channel Media One’s licence has been forwarded to MHA officials, who are examining it.

The development comes a week after a delegation of Lok Sabha MPs from Kerala had raised the issue with I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, who had asked them to approach Shah.

Raising the issue in Parliament, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “I am given to understand that the I&B Ministry has revoked the licence of a very popular media channel — Media One. It is a matter of serious concern that the licence has been revoked without citing any valid reason.”

Shah was in the House when Chowdhury spoke, and Congress members sought a reply from him. Soon after the House was adjourned, Chowdhury and Congress MPs, including Kodikunnil Suresh, walked up to Shah and broached the issue.

Suresh said, “After the House was adjourned, I went to Shah along with Chowdhury and some other MPs from Kerala. Chowdhury told him about the issue. The Home Minister told us that he has received a letter from the MPs. He said he has forwarded it to the ministry and they are examining it.”

Shah, according to Suresh, said the MHA will inform him, and after he “will reply to you (MPs).”

Meanwhile, Kerala HC High on Monday extended for one more day its interim order putting on hold the implementation of the Centre’s bar on Malayalam news channel MediaOne’s telecast. Justice N Nagaresh also reserved judgment on pleas moved by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd, which operates MediaOne, its employees and a journalists’ union challenging the Centre’s decision. The court said it will pronounce the verdict on Tuesday, PTI reports from Kochi.

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