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Business News/ Industry / Media/  Zee Media moves Delhi HC against I&B ministry
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Zee Media moves Delhi HC against I&B ministry

The I&B ministry has withdrawn permission given to the news broadcaster for uplinking of 10 TV channels in Ku-band on GSAT-15 Satellite, that was making these accessible on DD Free Dish

Zee Media said it has not been granted any period of time to pursue its legal remedies. (Company website)Premium
Zee Media said it has not been granted any period of time to pursue its legal remedies. (Company website)

Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) has moved the Delhi high court against the information and broadcasting ministry after the latter withdrew permission given to the news broadcaster for uplinking 10 TV channels in Ku-band (a form of satellite frequency) on GSAT-15 satellite, according to documents accessed by Mint.

This uplinking was making these channels accessible on DD Free Dish and giving the media company an unfair advantage over its competitors.

Ten regional news channels, namely, Zee Hindustan, Zee Rajasthan, Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal, Zee Bihar Jharkhand, Zee Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh, Zee Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand, Zee Salam, Zee 24 Kalak, Zee 24 Taas and Zee Odisha (now Zee Delhi NCR Haryana) were permitted to operate on C-Band, another form of satellite frequency, after permission was granted by MIB, an order from the ministry said last week.

It, however, subsequently noticed that these channels were available on Doordarshan’s direct-to-home platform FreeDish as well. This happened because of the proximity and co-location of transponders of both DD FreeDish and Dish TV on the same GSAT 15 Satellite and non-encryption of signals by both. While I&B had served a show cause notice to ZMCL, the latter had said that the situation has arisen due to co-location of DD FreeDish and Dish TV on the same satellite and non-encryption of the signals by Prasar Bharti which is in violation of the DTH guidelines.

“The order..is perverse as it has been passed in violation of the principles of natural justice. The very complaints on the basis of which the impugned order has been passed have not been shared till date with the Petitioners. Without access to these key documents, the Petitioners have been put at a grave disadvantage and are unable to exercise their right to a free and fair hearing," ZMCL said in writ petition calling the order draconian.

The said directions are very serious in nature, highly prejudicial to the business of the company and have far reaching consequences, it has added. Besides, the media company has not been granted any period of time to pursue its legal remedies, it has pointed out. “It is clear therefore, that the impugned order has been actuated by malice and is aimed to causing unlawful loss to the petitioner and unlawful gains to its competitors," it has said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Published: 28 Sep 2022, 02:21 PM IST
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