NEW DELHI: After denying security clearance to Sun TV owned by Marans, the Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA) has cracked the whip against two satellite TV Channels and two FM stations owned by former Union Minister Matang Sinh.
Matang was arrested by the CBI in January in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. Matang, a powerful MoS in the erstwhile Narasimha Rao Cabinet, was charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating. Subsequently Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and his three prime properties worth over Rs 100 crore were attached by the agency. The ED had also attached Matang’s flat in Mumbai and a commercial building in Guwahati worth Rs 300 crore.
According to sources, taking cognisance of money laundering and other serious charges against Matang, the MHA has denied security clearance to Positiv TV Pvt Ltd that had applied for renewal of licences for Focus NE and Focus HiFi and also two FM channels owned by Postiv Radio Pvt Ltd.
Matang is on the board of Positiv TV Pvt Ltd which was registered in 2003. He is also a director in Positiv Radio Pvt Ltd which was registered in 2005.
Sources in the MHA said the security clearance was denied on the basis of serious charges against Matang, which directly affected the economic security of the country. “The ministry is going by the rule book and if any serious charges are found against the promoters, no security clearance would be given. The government cannot compromise on the economic security of the country,” sources said.
The denial of security clearance to Matang’s group could have a cascading effect on the other channels that were sold to other groups but licences continue to be in Matang’s name.