SC to hear plea against grant of phase III licence to Red FM

Subramanian Swamy moved a plea saying that the channel partly owned by Sun TV was granted licence despite home ministry opposing it


A bench headed by chief justice of India, T.S. Thakur, said that it would hear the case next week. Photo: Mint
A bench headed by chief justice of India, T.S. Thakur, said that it would hear the case next week. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The Supreme court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea against granting phase III licence to Red FM in Delhi and Mumbai circles.

BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy, who has moved a plea, told the court that the channel, partly owned by Sun TV, was granted licence despite home ministry opposing it.

“It’s a national security issue.” Swamy said.

A bench headed by chief justice of India, T.S. Thakur, said that it would hear the case next week.

Red FM’s phase III license for Mumbai is slated to be granted soon, Swamy added.

Last year, Red FM, a part of Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB), a part of Sun TV Network, was refused the chance to participate in phase III FM auctions by the information and broadcasting ministry on grounds that the home ministry didn’t grant it security clearance.

Digital Radio Broadcasting then moved the Delhi high court, which allowed it to participate in the phase III auctions in July. The Union government then appealed this order before the apex court which was dismissed in January.

DRB is part of the Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network and runs Red FM. The home ministry had refused security clearance to Red FM as Kalanithi Maran and his brother, former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, face charges of money laundering.

The matter will be heard on 28 November.

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