NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s opinion favouring security clearance to the Sun TV network,
Home Ministry officials on Friday clearly said that, “The Ministry does not agree with his legal opinion on the issue.”
“We do not give broadcast licence. Our domain is to extend security clearance and the case examined by us clearly states that the owner of Sun TV is facing serious charges, including money laundering, which affects the economic security of the country. In such a situation, the ministry cannot give security clearance. Now it’s up to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make a decision first (moving the file back to the Home Ministry for fresh review) and then we will see,” officials said, adding that they had presented their arguments and concerns before the Attorney General during a meeting with him and the I&B Ministry officials on Thursday.
Rohatgi, in his legal opinion, said that not granting security clearance to 33 channels of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network was not legal and added that the corruption cases being investigated against the network’s promoter cannot be ground to deny it.
The Attorney General said that security clearance can be granted as agencies are probing cases related to corruption and not security.
“Corruption cases cannot be the ground to deny security clearance,” the AG opined, adding that the MHA’s cancellation of security clearance to Sun TV was not legal.
“Cancellation can be legal only if there is a threat to the security of the nation,” the AG said.