Sun TV withdraws two cases against TN government

The patch-up among family members of chief minister M Karunanidhi and his grand nephews had an echo in the Madras high court also, with the Sun TV Network withdrawing two cases instituted by the leading broadcaster in South India.

While the first petition was directed against the government, for “unfairly” stopping advertisements to Dinakaran and Tamil Murasu, the second petition alleged that M K Azhagiri-run Royal Cable Vision was illegally tapping and supplying the signals of Sun TV. Both these writ petitions were withdrawn by the television network, which informed the court that the matter had been settled out-of-court.

When the Sumangali Cable Vision-Royal Cable Vision issue came up before justice P R Shiva Kumar, counsel for SCV submitted that he may be permitted to withdraw the petition in view of the fact that an out-of-court settlement had been reached between the parties.

The same case had hogged headlines last week after a law journal published a complete “judgement”, though no such order had been delivered by an earlier judge. The journal has now clarified that the “judgement” was published inadvertently, and that it was given to it by the office of the high court.

In the afternoon of the judgement day, when the advertisement issue came up before justice K Venkataraman, senior counsel Vijay Narayan sought to withdraw the petition. The judge accordingly allowed him to withdraw it, stating that in view of the “changed circumstances” the petitioner is allowed to withdraw it. He, however, gave the petitioner liberty to agitate about the issue, if necessary, in future.

Earlier, this week, the stock markets have also responded positively to the meeting between the promoters of Sun TV and M Karunanidhi with the scrip rising by 14% on the BSE on Tuesday. The Sun TV scrip opened on the BSE at Rs 126.05, moved to an intra-day high of Rs 153, touched a low of Rs 125.8 before closing at Rs 144.1 on that crucial day.

The meeting warmed up the relationship which had gone sour for over a year post the publication of a survey on the successor to the DMK party chief. The turn of events made the Tamil Nadu government decide on launching its own cable TV network.

However, it is unclear as of now as to what happens to the cable TV network given that Kalanidhi Maran, the promoter of Sun TV, runs a bouquet of vernacular channels, the Suryan FM radio channel, publications as well as a direct-to-home (DTH) service christened Sun Direct. Sun TV has also ventured into film production.

Kalanidhi Maran holds 77% of the Sun TV stock while T Rowe Price holds 1.43%. Kalanidhi Maran’s brother Dayanidhi Maran had been the union telecom and IT minister but relinquished the post after the relationship soured.


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