CHENNAI: The Sun group on Monday approached the Madras High Court after the Centre denied it permission to participate in auction for Phase-III of FM radio broadcasting licences recently.
Six separate petitions - three each by the Sun group and its share holders - were filed seeking stay on the auction and the order of the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry dated July 15, and urging the court to direct the Union government to permit the group to participate in the auction.
Seeking relief, petitioners cited provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and the licence agreement, which, according to them, say that it can be terminated or denied permission only when there is default in payment of licence fee and breach of any terms and conditions contained in the agreement.
As an immediate impact of the government’s order, the group would be compelled to close down around 45 FM radio stations across the country, petitioners submitted.
Referring to clauses 2.2 (b) of the Information Memorandum and clause 3.2 (b) of the notice inviting application, petitioners said, “Only a company controlled by a person convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude or money laundering or drug trafficking, terrorist activities or declared as insolvent will not be eligible to apply.”
“The company is not involved in any dispute with regard to the security of the nation, and it had not broadcast anything that affects the security of the nation,” they contended.