HC asks Centre about security clearance status of Red FM
Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to place before it its decision regarding security clearance of Digital Radio Broadcasting Ltd, which runs Red FM radio in Mumbai, Kolkata and the national capital, so that it can migrate to phase III from II.
New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to place before it its decision regarding security clearance of Digital Radio Broadcasting Ltd, which runs Red FM radio in Mumbai, Kolkata and the national capital, so that it can migrate to phase III from II.
The direction was issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) told Justice J R Midha that it had received a letter from MHA seeking some clarifications on the issue and to which it has sent the necessary details.
MIB sought 2-3 weeks time to communicate the decision of MHA after which the court listed the matter for directions on April 29.
In the brief hearing, senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Red FM, contended that the government was not complying with court directions.
The court on March 4 had asked the MHA to decide on the issue of the company's security clearance within two weeks and inform it.
MHA on July 15 last year had denied security clearance to Red FM as it was associated with Sun TV run by Kalanithi Maran, who along with his brother Dayanidhi Maran are being prosecuted in cases of money laundering.
Thereafter, another bench of the high court on July 26 last year had set aside MHA's decision and allowed Red FM to participate in the phase III auction.
However, due to lack of security clearance from MHA, MIB did not allow the radio channel to migrate to phase III from II in the three metropolitan cities, the company had said in its plea.
The court in an interim order of September last year had extended the radio channel's licence to operate in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata under phase II till further orders in its plea seeking direction to the Centre to allow it to migrate to phase III.
The company had contended that it had communicated to the government its willingness to migrate to phase III but had received no response, including the amount to be paid for migration.
It had alleged that the ministry had "deliberately without giving any reason" not taken the requisite steps to enable the channel to migrate from phase II to III regime despite fulfilment of all eligibility criteria for migration.