Friday December 15, 2017
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Centre’s decision on Sun TV opposed by media groups



By NewsGram Staff Writer

Media organizations Madras Reporters Guild and Chennai Union of Journalists on Saturday condemned the central government for denying the security clearance to Sun TV group to bid for FM radio licences.

In a statement issued here, the Madras Reporters Guild urged the union home ministry to review its decision to deny security clearance to Sun TV group, noting this could result in a ban and closure of several media companies under the group.

“The Guild is by no means making out a case for withdrawal of the cases against this group and ongoing investigation into several charges against the company and its senior executives. In fact, the union government is free to pursue the cases in accordance with the laws of the land.

“However, any action against the company should not result in closure of the media organization, thereby affecting the livelihood of hundreds of employees,” the statement said.

According to the Guild, the issue of security clearance needs be taken up only when there is concrete evidence of any person or organisation trying to cause damage to the security and territorial integrity of the country.

The union information and broadcasting ministry and the attorney general have thus far taken the correct stand that any charge relating to compromising the security of the country will not arise in this case, though the company can be investigated regarding various other charges against it, the statement added.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chennai Union of Journalists’ president V.Anbazhagan said the journalistic fraternity is concerned about the families of thousands of employees.

“We wish to remind you the role of `media fraternity’ in projecting you as a symbol of political change, which greatly contributed to your victory in the Lok Sabha elections. Hence, we appeal to you to do justice to the working journalists and safeguard the democratic rights of media fraternity,” he said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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CBI vs Maran: SC gives Maran a week to respond


By NewsGram Staff Writer

Former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran has been given a week’s time by the Supreme Court – two member bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice V. Gopala Gowda – to respond to the CBI’s plea for his custodial interrogation. The investigation holds Maran responsible for using the telephone exchange installed at his Chennai residence for the family-owned Sun TV’s benefit.

The court directed the listing of the matter on October 1 as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought the date telling the court that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was leading the investigating agency’s case before the bench and requested for next hearing on that date.

On the last date of the hearing of the matter on August 12, the apex court, while staying the Madras High Court order cancelling Maran’s anticipatory bail, asked if any political vendetta was in play for the CBI seeking his custody for interrogation.

The court, which had then chided the CBI for doing nothing for over two years since 2013 when the case was registered, is now pressing for Maran’s custody.

Maran’s custody is indispensable to digging up the conspiracy between Sun TV, BSNL officials and the former communications minister, says the CBI and further states it to be a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Sun TV allowed to participate in FM auctions

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Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday allowed Sun TV group to participate in the auction of FM radio licences. Hammer

The interim order came on a petition filed by the media group’s companies challenging the central government’s decision to bar it from participating from the auctions on the grounds they did not secure the security clearance from the union home ministry.

The auctions for the FM licences are expected to start next week.

The Sun TV group approached the court requesting it to stay the auctioning of airwaves and also allow the group companies to participate in the auction.

According to Sun TV Network, the central government’s decision is illegal, arbitrary and abuse of power.

The petition said the reasons stated for denial of security clearance are relating to cases which are either in FIR stage or in the stage of charge sheet.

Only a director of the company is allegedly involved in the case and the company is not a party.