Karnataka HC restrains Power TV from broadcasting

Ramesh and his wife requested the court to issue directions to the ministry to stop the airing of programmes by Power TV for alleged violation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and Rules.
Karnataka HC
Karnataka HC

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has restrained Power TV from carrying out any broadcasting activity till July 9, the next date of hearing. Justice S R Krishna Kumar passed the interim order on June 25, after hearing two petitions filed by senior IPS officer Dr B R Ravikanthegowda, and JDS leader HM Ramesh Gowda and his wife Dr A Ramya Ramesh.

Ravikanthegowda sought directions from the court to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to take action on the complaint dated March 4, 2024, and also take steps to stop broadcasting of programmes by Power TV. Ramesh and his wife requested the court to issue directions to the ministry to stop the airing of programmes by Power TV for alleged violation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and Rules, and the policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking television channels in India.

The counsels of the petitioners argued that despite proceedings already initiated by the central government against the television channel and other private respondents, they are continuing to broadcast without obtaining the necessary renewal of licence. As such, necessary directions may be issued to them not to continue to broadcast without obtaining renewal licence, which is illegal, they told the court.

On behalf of the Union government, the Deputy Solicitor General of India submitted that proceedings have already been initiated against the channel and private respondents, and they have entered appearance in the proceedings which are pending consideration. A final showcause notice dated February 9, 2024, has been issued by the Union government to those who are contesting the proceedings. In the showcause notice, the ministry stated that the permission for Power TV was valid till October 12, 2021, and its renewal application dated December 30, 2022, is under examination, he argued.

The counsel for Power TV and others produced documents to contend that renewal has been obtained and they have permission to uplink the channel. However, the court noted that the documents indicated that no renewal has been granted in their favour.

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