The Maran brothers - former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran -- got a reprieve from the Madras High Court on Friday. The court set aside the information and broadcasting ministry’s order cancelling their company’s licence to run a cable TV business.
The high court order came hours before the government order was to come in force at midnight on Friday. Setting aside the order, justice V Ramasubramanian found fault with it for not giving a chance to Kal Cables, the Maran-run family business, to explain its position.
Though the HC judgement comes as a much needed relief to the Marans who are facing heat in other corruption cases, it left scope for further action by the Union government. The court said that since Kal cable was only a distributor and not a broadcaster, the broadcaster’s license should have been cancelled for security reasons cited by the Centre.
Maran brothers run the Sun TV network, which has a bouquet of channels including news and entertainment. On August 20, the Union government ordered cancellation of Kal Cable’s license to operate and gave it 15 days time to shut down its signals.
The decision to shut down the company, the government said, was taken in the interests of national security and to ensure fair competition.
"We don't know what is in the report (submitted by the ministry of home affairs early this week on why Kal Cables was not given license), we don't know what is the threat proposition,” said senior counsel PS Raman, who appeared for Kal Cables.