Sun Direct initiates legal action against 'defamatory' media

Raja

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Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun Direct said Tuesday it has initiated legal action against certain newspapers who have, in the last two days, cast apprehensions on the DTH company and it business partner Astro group.

Some media reports had cast doubts on Astro’s investment in the DTH arm. Astro's owner, through another company, has invested in Aircel in India.

Sun Direct said in a statement that the company “strongly objects to such malicious and derogatory news reporting which are aimed at tarnishing its image and reputation.”

It said that legal action has already been initiated with the respective news media and "we will be filing defamation cases and civil proceedings claiming damages for causing disrepute to Sun Direct against such newspapers."

It further said that certain people with “vested interests” are circulating these “false and defamatory statements” and “we call upon media not to get carried away by such frivolous and false news and information,” the statement read.

Sun Direct said that Sun TV entered into an MoU with the Astro Group way back in January 1997 which was widely reported in many newspapers, when Aircel was not in existence. It said that since the Government of India did not allow the use of KU band transponders for DTH services, the project was put on hold.

It further added that in 1997 neither was Dayanadhi Maran an MP nor a minister. “Which indicates that Astro was interested in doing the DTH business with Sun Network long back, contrary to the claims laid in the news reporting,” it said.

It also added that Dayanadhi Maran is not a shareholder in Sun Direct, and is not connected with the DTH business in any manner. Also, Sun Direct has no connection to Aircel and to link this up is “nothing but a figment of imagination.”


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Raja

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This is regarding the frivolous and imaginary allegation reports that have appeared in certain newspaper in the last two days casting apprehensions on Sun Direct and its business partner Astro group. We would like to refute these false, derogatory, imaginary and defamatory claims made in the news report.

1. Sun TV entered into an MOU with the Astro group way back in January 27th 1997 which was widely reported in many newspapers, a time period when AIRCEL was not in existence, but since the Government of India did not allow the use of KU band transponders for DTH services the project was put on hold.

2. In 1997 neither was Mr. Dayanadhi Maran an MP nor a minister which clearly indicates that ASTRO was interested in doing the DTH business with SUN Network long back, contrary to the claims laid in the news reporting.

3. Mr. Dayanadhi Maran is not a shareholder in SUN DIRECT TV and is not connected with the DTH business in any manner.

4. SUN DIRECT TV has no connection whatsoever to AIRCEL and to link this up is nothing but a figment of imagination.

5. Following the DTH policy announcement by the Government ASTRO picked up a 20% stake in SUN DIRECT TV in December 2007, the stake was valued at approximately USD $115 million, a time when Mr. Dayanadhi was not a minister. The stake valuation considers the business pedigree and the track record of the partners and our performance speaks for itself. SUN DIRECT DTH has crossed 6.5 million subscriber base within 3 years of launch, a feat many others took double the time to achieve. SUN Network group’s business performance is far superior and out performs competition measured by any yardstick making it one of the most successful and profitable channel business house in the country.

6. All these clearly point out to the fact that the recent news allegations are aimed at tarnishing the image of the SUN Network and Mr. Maran by vested interests.

SUN DIRECT TV strongly objects to such malicious and derogatory news reporting which are aimed at tarnishing its image and reputation, legal action has already been initiated with the respective news media and we will be filing defamation cases and civil proceedings claiming damages for causing disrepute to SUN DIRECT TV against such newspapers. Certain people with vested interest are circulating these false and defamatory statements on us and we call upon media not to get carried away by such frivolous and false news and information.


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