Television

Star News likely to get yet another extension

NEW DELHI: Controversy notwithstanding, Star News is likely to get another extension for uplinking from India when the final extension expires Wednesday midnight.

This was indicated by a senior government functionary on Tuesday, when some media barons and representatives had a series of meetings with ministers, including Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, on the need for uniformity in media policies and strict implementation of local rules and regulations.

Though Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad did not want to speak much on the Star News issue officially, government sources indicated that the channel would continue to uplink from India as there is a court order in this regard.

"In the wake of the court order, without giving any specific and concrete reason, the government cannot stop permission for uplinking to Star News," a government source said. The sources further said that the inter-ministerial group is likely to meet again this weekend -- after the period of replies and counter-replies is over between Star News and the government -- to discuss a base paper on the issue prepared by the I&B ministry.

Though there have been media reports that this inter-ministerial group is likely to reject Star News' plea and arguments, government sources said on Tuesday that even if the I&B ministry has a point of view, the representative from the department of company affairs (DCA) may have views contrary to this.

"So, it's early to say what the ministerial group may finally come up with. After that the issue goes to a group of ministers and, if necessary, to the cabinet too," a source said.

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