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Madras HC reserves judgment in Kalanithi Maran’s Kal Cables case

MUMBAI: The Madras High Court will pronounce its judgment on 5 September in the Kalanithi Maran-promoted Kal Cables (SCV) registration cancellation case. This will be after receiving the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) confidential report on the cancellation of the Chennai-based multi-system operator’s (MSO) registration.

Justice V Ramasubramanian Tuesday heard arguments from the both the parties and reserved his order on Kal’s petition.

Addition Solicitor General G Rajagopal said that the MHA declined to give clearance to Kal due to security reasons.

Kal Cables counsel PS Raman questioned the basis on which the MHA denied security clearance to Kal, arguing that there was not even a single criminal case against the directors of the company. Raman submitted that Kal was a cable TV service provider which was in no way connected with the security clearance.

He further argued that they are governed only by the Cable Television Network Regulation Act and Rules, 1994. Rule 11(b) of the rules clearly mandates that within 30 days of submission of application for the licence, the authority concerned should accept or reject the same by taking into consideration all the factors including security clearance.

When the ASG brought a memorandum of article to the notice of the court in which it was mentioned that Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanithi Maran were directors, Raman said they had resigned long back.

Earlier, the HC had allowed Kal’s plea of not carrying scrolls on its screen announcing the imminent shutdown of the network.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) had on 20 August revoked Kal’s permanent registration for digital addressable system (DAS) due to denial of security clearance by the MHA.

Subsequently, the MSO challenged the cancellation in the Madras High Court contending that it was not given opportunity to present its case.

The MIB had asked Kal to wind up its operations within 15 days and switch off signals. The ministry had also asked Kal to run scrolls on informing cable operators/customers about the same.

Apart from Kal, the MIB has so far cancelled registrations of 16 other MSOs including Pune-based Intermedia Cable Communications (ICC), Amritsar-based Godfather Communication and Digicable’s Kolkata joint venture DigiCablecomm Services. All the three MSOs have successfully challenged the MIB’s cancellation order.

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