Red FM in HC over denial of permission to bid in FM auction

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Published: July 20, 2015 9:41:23 PM

Delhi High Court is likely to hear tomorrow a plea by Digital Radio Broadcasting Ltd against government's decision to deny its radio channel, Red FM, the permission to participate in the third phase of FM auctions.

Delhi High Court is likely to hear tomorrow a plea by Digital Radio Broadcasting Ltd against government’s decision to deny its radio channel, Red FM, the permission to participate in the third phase of FM auctions.

The Mumbai and Delhi branches of the company moved the court today seeking that they be either permitted to bid in the auctions or the same be stayed.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, who appeared for the company, mentioned the matter before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva which agreed to hear the matter tomorrow.

Nayar told the court that the company was denied security clearance last week by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on account of their “alleged association with Sun TV”.

Advocate Mahesh Agarwal, who has filed the petition, said the company was denied clearance as the Marans-promoted Sun TV has a minority stake in it.

The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry had rejected Red FM’s applications to participate in Phase III FM auctions as they did not have security clearance from MHA which is a necessary condition to apply for the auctions.

Red FM, a part of Sun TV group, is among the prime bidders for the phase III of FM auctions which would grant permission to run 135 radio channels in 69 cities.

An Application Review Committee had rejected applications of the companies belonging to the Sun TV group on the grounds that they had failed to get a security clearance from MHA.

The I&B ministry has released a list of 21 companies that are ‘pre-qualified bidders’ for the first batch of the e- auctions for 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities.

The Ministry had received 28 applications including those from five companies associated with the Sun TV group.

The I&B Ministry is planning to conduct e-auction of 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II in the first batch of Phase III. 15 companies, including those from the Sun TV Network, already held licences under Phase II.

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