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MIB to hold consultation with MHA on Sun TV issue

MUMBAI: Even as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has leaned in favour of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Sun TV case, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) will hold more consultation with the MHA before taking a final call on the matter.

It was widely anticipated that I&B minister Arun Jaitley, who has returned from his visit abroad, would take a decision on the issue.

This means that the sword of uncertainty continues to hang over Sun TV, which has been denied security clearance by the MHA despite requests from the MIB to review the decision.

The MHA has contended that there are serious criminal investigations pending against Sun TV promoters due to which security clearance cannot be granted to Sun TV channels and FM radio stations. The MHA has also appealed against the decision of a single-judge bench of the Madras High Court to grant relief to Kalanithi Maran’s Kal Cables.

Maran, on the other hand, in separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has contended that his company is being singled out when others with similar criminal investigations pending against them are being granted security clearance.

Earlier, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi had said that security clearance can be granted to Sun TV channels as agencies are probing cases related to corruption and not security and, therefore, the ground on which security clearance has been denied is untenable.

Following the AG’s opinion, the MHA said that the decision is left to the MIB whether or not to cancel Sun TV’s licences.