Swamy urges Venkaiah Naidu to take action against SUN TV Group, says must cancel license

Revoke licenses for FM broadcast to SUN TV, writes Swamy.

Revoke licenses for FM broadcast to SUN TV, writes Swamy.
Revoke licenses for FM broadcast to SUN TV, writes Swamy.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]JP leader Subramanian Swamy  has urged Information & Broadcasting (I & B) Minister Venkaiah Naidu to take strong action against Sun TV group’s licenses citing the ongoing prosecution in the Aircel-Maxis scam. In a detailed letter, Swamy said the I&B Ministry should stick to the Home Ministry’s stand and must file appeal against the ongoing cases of Sun TV in connection with FM Radio licences.

After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached Rs. 700 crores ($104 million) worth properties on SUN TV for money laundering in Aircel Maxis scam, the Home Ministry objected to SUN Group.

Attaching the Home Ministry (MHA)’s objections on granting licences to SUN TV due to its major promoter Kalanidhi Maran (75% share holding) facing prosecution in the Aircel-Maxis scam for money laundering, the BJP leader said that the I&B Ministry should desist from taking actions favouring the  Maran family firm. Swamy had already filed a case on this regard and the detailed seven page letter is attached at the end of this report.

After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached Rs. 700 crores ($104 million) worth properties on SUN TV for money laundering in Aircel Maxis scam, the Home Ministry objected to SUN Group. But there were many vested interests which allegedly favoured granting of FM Radio licenses to SUN TV and the Maran family company went to many a High Court and in some courts they obtained favourable orders.

Swamy reiterated that the I&B Ministry should file appeal against these doubtful decisions citing the MHA’s report and the objections filed against the Group by Additional Solicitor General, stationed in the  Madras High Court. He pointed out that several such TV channels such as Positive TV and Focus TV were barred by I&B when their promoters were caught in criminal cases and money laundering cases.

“The involvement of Kalanidhi Maran who is the Director and 75 percent shareholder in the SUN TV Network Ltd., in serious economic offences should be a fundamental ground for refusal to grant them a license as the Supreme Court had also in number of cases has said that the term ‘National Security’ will include the economic paradigm as a threat to the national security of the country.”

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]“I[/dropcap] therefore again reiterate that if the government considers favourably the SUN TV Network for the grant of license in the present matter, it will be a serious wrong committed and will seriously affect our Government’s image. It will also go against the views taken by Supreme Court and may invite litigation in the public interest. Therefore I urge you to take the necessary steps in the present matter and direct the Ministry to desist from favouring the Marans group in any manner,” said Swamy.

This bizarre episode was actually a clash between Finance Minister Jaitley and I & B Minister Jaitley!

During his tenure in I&B Ministry, Arun Jaitley countered Home Ministry’s objections and wrote letters to Home Minister Rajnath Singh against the security agencies’ stand. The irony was that the security agencies took the stand against the SUN TV based on the charges of Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is also under Arun Jaitley’s Finance Ministry! This bizarre episode was actually a clash between Finance Minister Jaitley and I & B Minister Jaitley! The worst was that Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi gave a legal opinion against Home Ministry’ stand, even after Maran brothers were charge sheeted by the CBI and ED.  Gurumurthy wrote a series of articles puncturing AG’s arguments for his wrong stance.

Swamy has also given the copy of his letter to Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. A copy of the detailed letter is published below:

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Note:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 67.25 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.

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