Chennai : The Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) had wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh requesting that Red FM, part of the Sun Group, be allowed to continue to operate.
“We have noted with concern that various reports in the media that the Home Ministry has refused security clearance to Red FM, which could result in closure of over 45 stations being operated by Sun Group in the country. This would result in loss of employment of a few thousand employees,” Secretary General of AROI, the official association of the private commercial radio stations, Uday Chawla said in a statement.
Stating that radio is a free to air concept and is available to poor citizens for information and entertainment, he said, “we are surprised that these stations face closure due to pending investigation against the major shareholder”.
“It may be pertinent to point out that no conviction has yet been made and that denial of security clearance without a court conviction would create a dangerous precedent”, he said.
A copy of letter from AROI was also sent to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.
“Over more than a decade of existence of Red FM, the Association has not received, or aware of, any action led by Red FM. We see no reason why Red FM should be treated as a national security threat”, he said.
“Regarding complaints against specific individuals, law will definitely take its own course and justice done. Destruction of wealth, without any purpose, is not justice. We therefore request your kind intervention in ensuring that Red FM continues to operate”, he said.
Recently, Kalanithi Maran had written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, asking him to intervene on the issue of denial of security clearance to the network, saying his company was never involved in any anti-national or criminal activity.
Maran said he came to know security clearance was denied on the ground of ongoing proceedings in the case involving Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd pending before CBI and ED, which he termed as “untenable” and that his company has been singled out.
The letter came after the Home Ministry rejected an Information and Broadcasting Ministry plan to give security clearance to 33 television channels of Maran-promoted Sun TV Network, a move that could lead to cancellation of their broadcasting license.