Sealed covers create bias in judges’ minds, lawyer in Media One case says | Techy Kings

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The channel had objected that allowing sealed covers without providing copies of material inside would disadvantage them in court.

The channel had objected that allowing sealed covers without providing copies of material inside would disadvantage them in court.

The handover of material to courts in sealed covers referring to national security has a tendency to create bias in the minds of judges, senior advocate Dushyant Dave argued for TV channel Media One, which was hit with a telecasting ban by the government on November 1, 2022.

In the case, the government had argued that its reason for taking the channel off the air, by not renewing the broadcast license, was for national security. They had wanted to hand over the material in a sealed cover to the court.

The channel had objected that allowing sealed covers without providing copies of material inside would disadvantage them in court.

“Both sides should have access to the material that is relied upon. . . . If you have a sealed cover, doesn’t that create a bias in a judge or not? The moment the judges see the sealed cover with national security written on it, is those on guard. national security is a watchword across the country…” argued Mr. Dave. The government, in contrast, had argued that renewing a license for a TV channel was not a matter of rights.

“Renewal of license for a TV channel is not a matter of right for a company and such license is granted only if certain eligibility conditions are met under the uplink and downlink guidelines and other relevant statutory frameworks,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said. said in a statement.

The affidavit had come in response to the appeal filed by Madhyamam Broadcasting Ltd., the company that operates the Media One channel, challenging the government’s non-renewal of the security clearance “on the basis of intelligence inputs which are sensitive and classified in nature”.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud had decided to look into the larger issue of the government banning the media without fully disclosing the reasons for the act.

The hearing was to resume on Wednesday.

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