NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking reasons behind the denial of security clearance to 33 channels of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network, so that it can take further action.
"We have asked for the reasons behind this decision," a senior I&B Ministry official said, adding that the principle of natural justice demands that the concerned party is also given a hearing if any action has to be taken.
The I&B Ministry issues broadcasting licences for which companies require a security nod from MHA.
Sources said that with the security nod being denied, the I&B Ministry could consider issuing a show-cause notice but for that it would need to know the reasons as to why the clearance was not given.
It is learnt that in an earlier instance, the I&B Ministry had found itself in a tight spot over an order asking the Maran family-run Kal Cables to stop operating after MHA declined to give it security clearance.
Meanwhile, senior I&B Ministry officials, when contacted, remained tight-lipped about the development saying that "consultations were on" about the issue.
The I&B Ministry had earlier been informed about the decision of the Home Ministry denying security clearance to the TV network, which is believed to have been influenced by pending criminal cases against Maran and his brother, former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, official sources said.
The television channels could, however, seek a legal recourse. The Sun TV Network is one of India's largest media group whose TV channels reach more than 95 million households in India.
The network had applied to the I&B Ministry for renewing its broadcasting licence for 10 years for which it needed the MHA nod.