While the FM station participated in FM Phase III e-auctions followed by the Delhi HC order last year, the recent decision by the apex court means the radio channel can continue broadcasting without any hindrance
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 1, 2016
The Supreme Court on Friday, January 29, dismissed the plea of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) against the judgement of the Delhi High Court permitting Sun TV Group’s Red FM to participate in Phase III of FM auctions held last year. While the FM station participated in FM Phase III e-auctions and won key stations including Mumbai followed by the HC order last year, the recent decision by the apex court means the radio channel can continue broadcasting.
An apex court bench comprising Justices JS Khehar and C Nagappan said that there was no reason to stall Red FM’s application based on security clearance as the provisions were restricted to clearance for either the company or its directors. “Is there any misuse (of the spectrum/radio channel) at any stage? It’s an entertainment channel. What security threat does it pose?” the court asked while rejecting MIB’s plea, according to media reports.
It may be recalled that MIB had approached the Supreme Court when Delhi High Court had set aside the government’s order rejecting Red FM’s application on the ground that the company lacked security clearance from the Home Ministry.
Welcoming the apex court’s order, Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM, said, “We are extremely happy with the decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss the plea of the MIB against the judgment of the Delhi High Court. This reaffirms our faith in the judicial system and we at Red FM like any other responsible media house are totally committed to give our listeners a quality product like we have done in the past decade. Being a market leader, we are all charged up to strengthen brand 'Red' and launch Red FM in newer markets and build a strong brand there too.”
When contacted, Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD, Radio One, said, “The judiciary has done what is fair and this preserves the auction process and therefore the way forward for the radio industry.”