Cochin: Malayalam News Channel, Mangalam news, has approached the Kerala High Court challenging state government’s decision to conduct a judicial enquiry regarding the alleged airing of sleaze audiotape of former minister AK Saseendran.
Through a petition filed by the channel’s chairman Sajan Varghese, it is argued that state government does not have the powers to order a judicial enquiry in the case involving a news channel.
The channel is being operated under a licence issued by the central government. Broadcasting and similar forms of communication is an item falling under the Union List and the central government has exclusive jurisdiction over matters coming under the Union List, the petition said.
Decision of the state government to conduct a judicial enquiry is in violation of the provisions of The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 and the central government alone has the authority to order a judicial enquiry as broadcasting falls under Union List, it is alleged.
State government’s attempt is to shield the mistakes of a minister and the terms of reference for the judicial enquiry does not reveal a matter of public importance as required under the Act. Appointment of the judicial commission is an abuse of power and wasteful expenditure of public money, the channel contends.