MIB restores Yogesh Radhakrishnan’s TV channel licences

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has restored the licences of Yogesh Radhakrishnan’s M-Tunes HD and Bhakti Sagar after Delhi High Court asked the ministry to give a proper hearing to the petitioner.

Radhakrishnan had moved the HC after the ministry had cancelled the TV channel licences of Entertainment Television Network (ETN) due to denial of security clearance by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Disposing of the matter, the court asked the MIB to give a proper hearing to the company before taking a final decision.

The permission granted to ETN’s two channels was cancelled on 4 November. The ministry had issued a show-cause notice to the company on 17 February.

Earlier, the ministry had restored licences of Mahuaa Media and STV Enterprises’ nine TV channels following the interim stay granted by Delhi High Court. The MIB had cancelled their licences due to denial of security clearance by the MHA.

The ministry also issued show-cause notices to Madhyamam Broadcasting, which owns and operates Malayalam news channel Media One, and to Lamhas Entertainment, the owner of Music Xpress. Madhyamam was granted an additional licence in 2015 under the name Media One Life.

Jaganmohan Reddy-linked Indira Television, which owns and operates Telugu news channel Sakshi TV, was also served a show-cause notice after denial of security clearance.

The MIB is examining the responses of Madhyamam Broadcasting, Indira Television and Lamhas Entertainment.

Altogether, the ministry cancelled licences of five companies comprising 23 channels and issued show-cause notices to three companies having three TV channels after denial of security clearance by the MHA, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu told the Rajya Sabha in response to BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s question.

As on date, Positiv Television’s five TV channel licences, Maa Television Network’s four TV channel licences and Lemon Entertainment’s two TV channel licences stand cancelled. As reported earlier, Star India, which had acquired Maa TV’s broadcast business, has secured fresh licences for the four Maa channels.

Incidentally, the name of Sun TV Network is missing from the list despite its security clearance was withdrawn by the MHA on 4 June 2015. The Kalanithi Maran-promoted company had challenged the denial of security clearance in Delhi and Madras High Courts.

Responding to Swamy’s query on the Sun TV Network matter, Naidu said that the ministry had sought a review of the denial of security clearance to Sun TV Network from the MHA in view of the amended security clearance guidelines.

Naidu also said that the renewal of permission had been granted to channels with security clearance. Out of 33 TV channels of Sun TV Network, four are due for renewal of permission after 10 years.

The MIB had issued show-cause notices to nine companies having 26 TV channels after denial of security clearance by the MHA.

Ministry of Home Affairs has been received and show cause notices have been issued