Attorney General okays Sun TV security clearance; stock up 8%

MUMBAI: Kalanithi Maran can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now. This after the Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi has asked the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry to give security clearance to the 33 channels of Sun TV Network.

After the I&B Ministry sought his opinion on the matter, Rohatgi said that denial of security clearance to Sun TV by MHA was wrong.

It can be noted that the Home Ministry had denied the proposal to grant security clearance to the network on grounds that its promoter - Kalanithi Maran - was being investigated for criminal cases by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

As is known, the CBI had alleged Dayanidhi Maran of misusing his office as Union Telecom Minister to engineer the sale of Aircel to Malaysia's Maxis Group in 2006. Maran was accused of corruption and illegal gratification worth more than Rs 700 crore, which allegedly was invested in a media company that is part of the Sun Group, owned by Dayanidhi Maran’s brother Kalanithi Maran.

It can be noted that in April, the ED had issued an order to both the Maran brothers to attach properties and assets worth Rs 742.58 crore belonging to them.

Kalanithi Maran in his argument had said that while most TV companies have criminal cases pending against them or against their directors or promoters, only his company was singled out and security clearance refused.

Earlier this week the MHA had said that it had no plans to reply to the letter written by Maran where he had said that his company was never involved in any anti-national or criminal activity and that there was no justification for refusal of the clearance to his television channels.

Buoyed by the reports of this development, the Sun TV stock on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) shot up by 7.86 per cent at the end of the day’s trade on Friday. The stock, which opened at Rs 309.25 touched an intra-day high of Rs 342.30 and closed at Rs 333.55 at the end of the day’s trade.

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