After the Home Ministry’s strike down on an Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s proposal to give security clearance to 33 TV Channels of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network, shares of the TV channel fell as much as 27.6%, which is their sharpest fall since 27th July 2012. The clearance was rejected on the grounds that their continued airing would have an “adverse impact on economic security” of the country.
Home Ministry’s decision to deny clearance is believed to have been influenced by pending criminal cases against Mr. Maran and his brother and former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, official sources said. The Maran brothers have been facing a CBI probe over alleged allotment of 300 high-speed BSNL telephone lines to the residence of former Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai, which were extended to his brother’s channel.
CBI’s Aircel-Maxis case and an Enforcement Directorate case of money laundering, are two other pending criminal probes against Sun TV Network and its owner Kalanithi Maran. The Sun TV Network is one of India’s largest media groups, whose TV channels reach more than 95 million households in India.