HC Permits Sun Group to Participate in FM Radio Broadcasting License Auction

Published: 23rd July 2015 11:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2015 11:59 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Under fire from all around, the Marans-owned Sun Group received a much-needed reprieve on Thursday morning, with the Madras High Court permitting it to participate in the phase-III auction for FM radio broadcasting license.

However, passing the order here today, Justice M Sathyanarayanan made clear that this is only an interim order, and the final outcome will be subject to the decision taken on the six petitions moved by Sun TV Network, KAL Radio, South Asia FM and its share holders.

    >>Related: We Are Not Tax Dodgers, Says Kalanithi Maran

Sun Group, which operates about 45 FM stations across the country, found itself out of the list of applicants eligible to participate in the phase-III auctions issued on July 15, triggering a major controversy. Reports from the national capital cited difference of opinion between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and I and B minister Arun Jaitley over this, but the home ministry is seemingly unrelenting over the matter. On July 16, the Sun group was served with a communication stating that the company was rejected on national security ground.

The rejection prompted Sun Group to approach the High Court seeking relief, relying on the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and the licence terms and conditions.

“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,” contended the petitioners before the court, referring to clauses 2.2(b) of the Information Memorandum and clause 3.2(b) of the notice inviting application.

“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 if the nation,” they claimed.

But the Centre maintained that the corruption cases that the group owners Kalanithi and Dayanidhi Maran faced were of a serious nature.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp