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Uplink relief for STAR News

New Delhi, July 24: The government today permitted STAR News to continue uplinking for its channel for two weeks.

Sources in the ministry of information and broadcasting said the permit was being given for a fortnight to allow the government to take a decision on STAR News’ application for a long term uplinking license.

The sources expected that STAR News would be given a license in about a month’s time if its papers were found to be in order. The ministry today shot off another round of questions to STAR on the arrangements of Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS), the shell company in which STAR has a 26 per cent stake, that is the applicant for the license.

Even if the government grants no extension, STAR can continue uplinking because Bombay High Court has issued a stay order restraining VSNL from snapping the connection granted to the channel for its live feeds. Yesterday, the government did not take a decision because bureaucrats were too busy with other work, it has been informed. In any case, if the court order had not existed, they would have to work overtime to extend the permit.

MCCS president Ravina Raj Kohli and STAR nominee on its board, Kaushal Dalal, today met ministry officials and “explained that there was nothing wrong with their business practices”.

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