Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Home ministry to decide Red FM’s fate in two weeks: Delhi high court

The home ministry refused security clearance to Red FM as Kalanithi Maran and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran face charges of money laundering

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday asked the home ministry to decide within two weeks on the issue of allowing Digital Radio Broadcasting to migrate to Phase III FM licences.

Last year, the information and broadcasting ministry had refused to allow DRB to participate in the Phase III FM auctions for want of a security clearance from the ministry of home affairs.

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

In July, the Delhi high court allowed Red FM to participate in the auctions. The Union government’s appeal against this order to the Supreme Court also got dismissed in January.

The government lawyer informed the high court on Friday that the broadcasting ministry had written to the home ministry on 19 February for its comments on the issue after the Supreme Court’s dismissal of its case.

Accordingly, justice J.R. Midha asked the home ministry to take a call within two weeks. The case will be heard next on 29 March.

An interim arrangement allowing Red FM to continue broadcasting in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles will continue till then.

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