Amid widespread condemnation over the one-day ban imposed on NDTV India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on Monday decided to put on hold its order against the prominent Hindi channel, after the broadcaster requested that the decision be reviewed.
Officials said that the decision has been put on hold till the time the appeal is disposed of.
According to officials sources, NDTV co-chairman Prannoy Roy on Monday met information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu and discussed the issue related to the order.
Sources said that Roy, while referring to the decision of the inter-ministerial committee imposing the penalty, contended that the perspective of NDTV in this regard "was perhaps not fully and adequately appreciated".
"Roy sought a review of the decision and said that till such time the order should be put on hold," a senior official said.
Officials said that Naidu agreed to the request and the ministry will review the decision and till that time the order has been put on hold.
The decision comes after the Supreme Court agreed to hear NDTV's appeal tomorrow against the ban.
NDTV India was last week ordered to stop broadcasting for 24 hours (Wednesday) with the government accusing it of broadcasting sensitive details of January's terror attack on the air force base in Pathankot.
NDTV has refuted the allegations and pointed out that other channels and newspapers reported the same information.
Naidu had countered that the ban is "in the interest of the country's security" and that the barrage of criticism confronted by the government appears "politically inspired".
This is the first ever such order against a TV channel over its coverage of a terror attack, the norms regarding which were notified in 2015. The Editors’ Guild has condemned the ban and demanded that the decision be withdrawn immediately, saying it was reminiscent of the emergency period.
"The ostensible reason for the order as reported is that the channel’s coverage of Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016 that the government claims gave out sensitive information to the handlers of terrorists. NDTV, in its response to a show cause by the government, has maintained that its coverage was sober and did not carry any information that had not been covered by the rest of the media, and was in the public domain,” the statement read.
It added that the decision to take the channel off air for a day was a violation of the freedom of media.