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MIB puts its NDTV India ban order in abeyance

MUMBAI: Flooded with criticism from all quarters, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has put in abeyance its decision to ban NDTV India for a day for alleged violation of content rules.

In a letter to NDTV, the ministry has stated that its representation is under examination and the order seeking to take NDTV India off the air for a day is under abeyance until further orders.

The move comes on the eve of the Supreme Court hearing the broadcaster’s appeal. NDTV has challenged the constitutional validity of the ban in the apex court.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) of the MIB had recommended taking NDTV India off the air for a day for its Pathankot attack coverage as it compromised the security of the country.

In its response, NDTV had contended that the information it had provided during the coverage was already in the public domain. It said that it was singled out by the government when other media platforms had shared the same information in their reports on the attack.

Despite NDTV’s pleading, the MIB went ahead and directed it to stop the transmission or re-transmission of the channel for one day from 00:01 hours on 9 November until 00:01 hours on 10 November.

Various media bodies had come out in support of NDTV India while imploring the government to withdraw its order in the interest of free speech.

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