Even after the government has directed the ministries, both MIB and MHA to take a collective decision to decide the fate of Sun TV, Union Finance and Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2nd July to discuss the implications of the home ministry’s denial of security clearance to Sun TV’s television and FM radio channels. The issue has assumed urgency given that the entire auction process of FM phase 3 has been held up with the I&B Ministry not summoning a meeting of the application review committee. All other 28 companies, barring those affiliated to Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network that had applied for the auction and migration from phase 2 to Phase 3, have been granted security clearance.
According to the sources, what has also perplexed the I&B ministry is the Union home ministry’s stance with respect to the print publications of the Sun TV group.
In response to the I&B Ministry’s query regarding the fate of the newspapers and magazines from the Sun stable such as Dinakaran, Kumudham and Murasoli, the Home Ministry has sought to distinguish between print and other media such as radio and television.
In addition, The Ministry of Information & Broadcast (MIB) is now expected to issue a show cause notice to Sun TV Network if the MHA continues to deny security clearance for its channels. This allows the network to present its side of the argument in court. The reason for this is that the MIB is looking to be cautious in its approach to give a final decision on the contentious issue which has left the MHA and MIB disputing.
Meanwhile, the shares of Sun TV Network has dropped to 0.64% in BSE and an almost 1% drop in the NSE. The losses on the company’s stocks extends to around Rs.6,000 crore.