Sun Group challenges denial of permission to bid for FM Phase III auctions in Chennai & Delhi High Courts

NEW DELHI: The Sun Group’s challenge to denial of permission to participate in auction for Phase-III of FM radio broadcasting licences is expected to be heard both by the Madras and Delhi High Courts on 21 July, 2015. 


The Group, in the petitions filed today (20 July), has also sought a stay on the order of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry in this regard. The Ministry had last week issued a list of 21 bidders, which did not include the Group’s Red FM, and then sent a formal communication to the Group on 15 July that it had been denied permission. 


The Court has been asked to direct the Centre to permit Sun Group to migrate to the Phase-III regime by allowing it to resubmit the application dated 20 March, 2015 to participate in the auction.


When asked how case on a similar issue could be filed simultaneously in two High Courts, a spokesperson of Sun Group said the petitions have been filed by different companies which are part of the Group.


A set of six writ petitions, which include three each by the company and the shareholders, has sought permission to resubmit its application to participate in the tender.


The petitions also said the company was not involved in any dispute with the nation's security, nor had it broadcast anything that affected the security of the nation.


The petition alleges that the order denying permission had been issued “carelessly, with total non-application of mind and in a cavalier fashion, totally unmindful of its consequences and repercussions not only on Sun TV but also on the entire broadcasting and media industry.”


Apart from the denial to participate in Phase III FM auctions, the order also implied that the sister companies of the Sun Group would be compelled to close down FM radio stations, totalling 45 across the nation, the petitioners said.


“Non-inclusion of the company's name on the list is nothing but closing the entire FM stations run by it for extraneous, illegal and mala fide reasons,” the petitions said.


It has pointed out that the Indian Telegraph Act does not make any mention of security clearance, and licence can be terminated or denied only if there is violation of the terms of the agreement including any defaults in payment.


Clause 2.2(b) of the Information Memorandum and Clause 3.2(b) of the Notice Inviting Application says only a company controlled by a person convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude or money laundering or drug trafficking or terrorist activities or is declared as insolvent will not be eligible to apply. The petitioners said there was nothing in the rules to deny permission the the Sun Group, which is controlled by the Maran brothers.


Some financial cases – with no relation to the nation’s security - are pending against the two brothers but nothing has been proved, a Sun Group spokesperson told

Latest Reads
FM Phase III e-auction tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The e-auctions for the second batch of Radio FM Phase III has been put off by a day to 26 October 2016.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI tariff order, interconnect regulations; date for responses extended

NEW DELHI: Stakeholders wanting to give in their reactions to the latest draft Tariff order for Digital Addressable Systems, the Quality of Service and Consumer Protection Regulations, and the draft interconnect regulations have been given time till 15 November 2016 to respond.

Regulators TRAI
FM P-III auction: EMD, bidders initial eligibility declared

NEW DELHI: Even as the day of the e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III on 25 October 2016 approaches, the Government has released the earnest money deposit (EMD) by the pre-qualified bidders and the initial eligibility points (IEP) of each of these.

Regulators I&B Ministry
FM P-III second batch auction from 25 Oct; 14 in fray

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III will commence on 25 October 2016 from 09.30am.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper to be held

Given the complicated issues around net neutrality, an open house discussion is to be held in Hyderabad this month on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on free data. The OHD will be held at Hotel Trident in the Telangana capital on 24 October 2016.

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati advisor reviews DD marketing and policies

Former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary and now Prasar Bharati advisor Sunil Arora yesterday asked Doordarshan to adopt the best policies of the industry, even as he approved the planned auction of slots on DD National.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Suresh Panda may be Prasar Bharati interim CEO; liberal DD auction criteria recommended

Suresh Panda, member (personnel) in Prasar Bharati is expected to take over as the acting chief executive officer of the pubcaster after the incumbent CEO Jawhar Sircar demits office on 4 November.

Regulators People
Govt. accepts Jawhar Sircar's request for early retirement

A media-savvy chief executive of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar used the social media to announce yesterday that the Indian government has accepted his resignation from the pubcaster and acceded to his request for an early retirement.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Carriage fee in interconnect draft aimed at reducing litigation

NEW DELHI: The draft of the Interconnect regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has given a formula for calculation of the carriage fee. The carriage fee for each month or part thereof during the term of the interconnection agreement shall be calculated as given below:-

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories