news Monday, June 08, 2015 - 05:30
    Ambiguity remains over the fate of 33 channels run by Kalanithi Maran-run Sun TV group after it was recently reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs has denied a security clearance for the channels.   Though multiple media reports say that 33 channels of the southern media group may go off air, Sun TV is maintaining a brave face for now.    Sun Group CFO SL Narayanan said that no official communication had been received from the Home Ministry over security clearance for the channels. Stating that the company should not be condemned until all matters were fully heard, he said that there was no basis for denying the company its security clearance.   "We will definitely seek legal recourse if our licence is revoked," Sun Group CFO SL Narayanan said adding that since no breach of law had been made, there was no “security risk”.    Another top official at Sun TV told The News Minute that without a court order, licences could not be revoked until official word was conveyed from the Ministry.   “There is a Telugu news channel, an English news channel and a big media group which is facing such cases, can the government close down all of them?” the official said.    Security clearance was refused taking into consideration three cases existing against the Maran brothers and the group by the Central Bureau Of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.    The cases involve the Aircel-Maxis deal in which a criminal probe is pending against Kalanithi Maran, nephew of DMK chief, M Karunanidhi, Dayanidhi Maran and Sun TV Network.  The second is a case of money laundering against the group by the Enforcement Directorate.   Another is a CBI probe on the alleged allotment of 300 high speed BSNL telephone connections made to the residential quarters of Dayanidhi Maran, then Communications and Information Technology Minister.   With shares of Sun TV Network tanking nearly 28% in early Monday trade, the group tried to assuage fears. Most of our channels are running up to 2021 and some till 2023, so nothing is pending appeal... I am reasonably sure, we will not be put to this kind of difficulty. Any action to deny us the right to do business for cases against an unconnected company (Sun Direct) will be harsh," Mr Narayanan told NDTV.   Earlier this year, security clearance to 40 radio FM channels run by Sun Group was denied. Following this, even though Information & Broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking a review, there has been no new development on that front.   (Image courtesy: ABP)   
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