Sun Group vs Home Ministry: PMO finds more merit in MHA argument

PMO has weighed in on the standoff between MHA and the MIB, and indications are that it has found more merit in the MHA argument.

  • NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has weighed in on the standoff between the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) over the former's denial of security clearance to 33 channels of the Sun Group, and indications are that it has found more merit in the MHA argument.Highly-placed sources told ET that the PM's principal secretary, Nripendra Misra , convened a meeting on Saturday where the Sun TV issue was discussed in detail.The meeting, which was attended by Home Secretary LC Goyal, I&B Secretary Bimal Julka and Law Secretary PK Malhotra, was convened in light of the legal opinion given by Advocate-General Mukul Rohatgi.Rohatgi had said that MHA's denial of security clearance citing "economic security" was not legally tenable as the promoters were battling only corruption cases.Neither Misra nor the three secretaries were available for comment.

  • Sources said the PMO has also questioned the need for MIB to seek A-G's opinion in this case.Senior home ministry officials told ET that any concession to Sun TV in the present matter would mean that "collateral beneficiaries" would be large in terms of accused companies and their promoters in other major scams.

  • This has been communicated by the home ministry to the PMO which is sensitised of the matter," a top home ministry official told ET on Monday.MHA has been maintaining that Sun TV could not be granted security clearance as its promoters were facing serious charges in connection with several investigations.

  • The denial of clearance had prompted promoter Kalanithi Maran to write a letter to Finance and I&B Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking them to intervene on the issue, saying his company was never involved in any anti-national or criminal activity and was being singled out.The MIB had sought the A-G's opinion on the MHA denial, and Rohatgi on Friday told the ministry that the pending criminal cases against the Maran brothers - Dayanidhi and Kalanithi - cannot be ground to deny licence to the Sun TV network as agencies were probing cases related to corruption and not security.On Monday, a top government official told ET that the A-G's opinion was not binding on the government.

I'm a bot | OP can reply with "delete" to remove | Message Creator | Source

/r/india Thread Link -