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Centre to SC: ‘NDTV India’ ban order will be reversed if the channel apologizes

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-03-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that the one-day blackout order against New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) India will be reversed if the channel offers an apology for its coverage of the Pathankot terrorist attack on 2 January 2016.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for NDTV sought a week's time to inform the court if the channel would tender an apology.

On 3 November 2016 the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) ministry had asked NDTV India to go-off air for a day on 9 November for revealing ‘sensitive details’ on the 2 January Pathankot terrorist attack.

Days later, NDTV moved the apex court challenging the constitutional validity of the order and “the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed”.

An inter-ministerial committee set up by the I&B ministry had held the channel in violation of the programming code of the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2015.

In a live telecast, the channel revealed the exact location of the suspected Pakistan-based terrorists involved in the attack on the Pathankot air base, the committee said in its recommendations, released by the I&B ministry.

The ministry had, however, put the ban in abeyance.

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