BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the process to grant security clearances to companies for FM broadcast and restraining them from taking part in auctions if they are involved in criminal cases.
The Rajya Sabha MP, in his plea, said that Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued a notice on March 2, 2015 inviting applications from eligible parties for the Phase-III e-auction process of FM radio channels.
In the course of processing their applications, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had denied security clearance to the Sun TV network of Maran brothers, resulting in cancellation of its pleas for auctioning, Swamy claimed.
The Sun Group, which is controlled by Kalanithi Maran and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, is accused in the Aircel Maxis case and criminal cases filed by the CBI and the ED under various penal provisions were the main reasons for denial of the security clearance by the MHA for the e-auction process, the petition alleged.
“It is submitted that for the same auction process for another group, the Bombay High Court has also given a judgment thereby rejecting the plea of the private company to grant the security clearance once it was rejected by the nodal Home Ministry,” he said.
The BJP MP has referred to the Madras and Delhi High Court judgements allowing Sun TV network to participate in private FM radio auction and said “the nodal ministry (MHA) failed to make a full-proof security clearance policy which is primarily the reason for the divergent views of different High Courts of the country.”
“The inadequacy, vacuum and non-uniformity in the security clearance policy of the government has developed this problem where a tainted person or a company can be a part of a process which can have a serious impact on the national security of the country,” it claimed. Swamy has urged the apex court to “restrain the MHA and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to withhold the process of auction of private FM radio channels Phase III & airwaves of the entities or individual in view of the denial of the security clearance.”
(With PTI inputs)