Sun channels refused security clearance

Sun channels refused security clearance

The Union Home Ministry has rejected an Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry proposal to give security clearance to 33 channels of the Sun TV Network, one of India’s largest media groups.

If the I&B Ministry goes ahead with the Home Ministry’s proposal, the Sun Network will have to shut its channels.

Officials are now likely to take up the issue with I&B Minister Arun Jaitley.
The rejection came close on the heels of the Home Ministry refusing to give its nod for the group’s 45 radio channels.

The Sun TV Network could not be contacted for its comments.
Sun Network channels reach more than 9.5 crore households in India.

Official sources said the Home Ministry felt giving clearance to the channels would adversely affect the country's economic security.

The ministry has taken into consideration the investigations against Sun Group promoter Kalanidhi Maran and his brother, former telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran, in the 2G spectrum scam and other cases.

The brothers are also facing a CBI probe over the allotment of 300 high-speed BSNL telephone lines to the Dayanidhi's residence in Chennai, which were extended to his brother's channel.

Charge sheets have been filed against the Marans in the Aircel-Maxis case, in which they were accused of coercing Aircel owner C Sivasankaran to sell his firm to Maxis for pecuniary benefits.

The Enforcement Directorate has registered a case of money laundering against the Marans.

Sources said the Home Ministry has detailed these cases in its response given to the I&B Ministry, rejecting the proposal to give clearance to the channels.

The Sun Network had approached the I&B Ministry for renewing its broadcasting licence for 10 years. The process required security clearance from the Home Ministry.

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