NDTV on Monday said that Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu had put on hold the one-day ban on its Hindi news channel NDTV India. The decision comes after Naidu defended the government's decision, and hours after the news channel filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the I&B Ministry order. The ministry is reportedly reviewing its decision.
The order was put on hold till further notice after NDTV "made a representation" in the matter in the top court, after the ban was imposed on the channel for "non-adherence to the Programming Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995", a statement said.
A panel had directed NDTV India to go off air for a day as penalty for revealing "strategically-sensitive" information while covering the Pathankot attack in January. NDTV had questioned whether the direction was constitutional and challenged "the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed".
The channel had been asked to be off the air from 1 pm on November 9 to 1 pm on November 10. The I&B Ministry committee had said the channel "appeared to give out the exact location of the remaining terrorists with regard to the sensitive assets in their vicinity" when they had aired the details in real time. NDTV, however, had refuted the allegations, saying other news channels had covered the attack similarly.