NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry has granted security clearance to a director of SUN DTH, while making it clear that it should not be seen as a security clearance for the company owned by former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran’s family.
According to top sources, a file seeking security clearance for SUN DTH’s new director was recently sent to the Home Ministry, which had earlier denied security clearance to 40 FM radio stations and 33 TV channels of the group.
“Since it was an individual case and nothing adverse was found against the person, security clearance was granted. But, it was clearly mentioned that the decision should not be seen as security clearance to SUN DTH. As and when the matter related to SUN DTH comes up for review, decision will be made,” sources said, adding that critical evidence collected by other agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate and CBI, reveals serious criminal charges against the Marans.
Responding to an argument that the Home Ministry should decide security clearances on the basis of anti-national content on FM or TV channels and denial of such clearance should not be on the basis of owners, a source said such an arrangement may pave the way for even most-wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim to run a family channel.
“Security clearance cannot be given in cases where the owners are facing serious criminal charges like money laundering. Isn’t it anti-national? There is enough evidence produced in the court in the Aircel-Maxis case. This evidence received, through letters rogatory from foreign countries and findings of our agencies in the BSNL exchange case and money laundering, are enough ground to deny the clearance,” a source added. Responding to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s question on what reasons be cited to the broadcasters as natural justice demanded showcause notice be issued to them, the Home Ministry said a showcause notice could be issued to them citing criminal probe against the Sun Group.