NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting ministry is studying the Home Ministry order denying security clearance to 33 television channels of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network owing to criminal investigations. The I&B ministry has also sought further clarifications from the Home Ministry on the denial of security clearance.
According to sources in the I&B ministry, the matter was complex and would not have an easy resolution. As such, the ministry would hold consultations before deciding on the next step.
Last time, when the ministry cancelled the license of multi-system operator Kal Cables, also owned by Marans, it was struck down by the Madras High Court. The sources further said that I&B ministry had written to the Home Ministry arguing that the principles of natural justice demanded that the concerned party was also given a hearing if any action had to be taken.
While concerns of national security could have weighed in the home ministry’s decision, sources pointed out that it had a bearing on issues like livelihood of employees and industry sentiment. Sun TV shares had dipped 20 per cent after the home ministry denied it security clearance last week.
Though, the ministry was not willing to confirm it had hinted that the entire issue of licensing might be reviewed. “Everyone will give their opinion on the issue, but decision will be taken at the minister level,” said a source.