FM radio security clearance: SC allows Swamy to file rejoinder

On November 28 last year, the apex court bench had issued notice to the MHA on the plea seeking framing of guidelines for grant of security clearance by the Centre to firms.

Published: 30th March 2017 01:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2017 01:24 AM   |  A+A-

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today allowed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to file a rejoinder to the government's reply to his plea seeking a direction for framing detailed guidelines and "fool-proof policy" for grant of security clearance to companies for FM broadcast.

"You (Swamy) can file it," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said when the BJP leader sought the court's nod for filing his rejoinder to the reply filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

"The matter is coming up for hearing on March 31. Kindly allow me to file the rejoinder," Swamy said while mentioning the matter before the bench that also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul.

On November 28 last year, the apex court bench had issued notice to the MHA on the plea seeking framing of guidelines for grant of security clearance by the Centre to firms, accused of economic offences, from taking part in public auctions.

The Rajya Sabha MP had submitted that the Delhi and the Bombay high courts had recently taken divergent view on the issue of security clearance by the MHA while dealing with e-auction process of private FM radio channels.

The Bombay HC had held that the grant of security clearance falls under the exclusive domain of the MHA, he said, adding the Delhi High Court allowed Sun Group, controlled by Kalanidhi Maran and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, who are accused in the Aircel-Maxis scam case, to bid for the airwaves auction.

Dealing with the nod to Sun Group to take part in the auction process of FM radio channels, Swamy said the MHA refused security clearance and the attorney general overturned its objection and gave opinion in favour of the group whose promoters are facing prosecution in the Aircel-Maxis scam.

Seeking guidelines from the court, the plea said that inadequate security clearance policy of the government and the two judgements of the Delhi and the Bombay high courts can be used as a ground to bypass the "mandatory security clearance process by the companies" and this could become a threat to national security.

It alleged that "inadequacy" and "non-uniformity" in security clearance policy of the government has created this problem where a "tainted person or a company" can be part of a process which can have serious impact on the national security.

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