The Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday that private TV networks that the government takes action against for allegedly spreading information harmful to national security are given enough opportunity to clarify their position.
L Murugan, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, stated that all new and renewal applications for private television stations are reviewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
He stated that if any channel’s activities are determined to be a danger to national security, the MHA cancels the security clearance, resulting in an immediate termination of the licence issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
As per the minister, an appropriate process is followed before any action is taken against any TV outlet.
In some circumstances, the channel in question does not submit the renewal application, while in others, we issue a show reason notice, and if the response to that show cause notice is determined to be unsatisfactory, we take action, he explained.
Mr Murugan also mentioned a Supreme Court decision that backed the administration on the issue of national security.
When MP Gaurav Gogoi claimed that the denial of security clearance amounted to a restriction on freedom of expression, the minister responded that such actions could not be equated to 1975 (under the emergency), when people had neither freedom of speech nor personal liberty.