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DAS petitions challenging constitutional provisions listed for 3 November

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NEW DELHI: With the division bench taking cognisance of several cases relating the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III which challenge constitutional provisions, the Delhi High Court will hear the DAS cases on 3 November, 2016

Earlier, the court of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had been informed that a large number of the cases transferred had constitutional implications, and therefore he had said that he, as a single bench, was not competent to handle these cases.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini took cognisance of these cases as the single bench of Justice Sachdeva in the last hearing on 5 October 2016 had asked lawyers to segregate cases relating to constitutional provisions.

Justice Sachdeva had last month issued notice on two more petitions related to Phase III of DAS – filed by Om Systems of Mumbai and Digiana.

The cases include an application by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation for being impleaded in the case

The cases that were listed on that day included Rohtak Cable Operators’ Association, Andhra Pradesh MSOs Welfare Federation, Multi System Operators’ Welfare Association, Sai Big Star Welfare Association, Sree Devi Digital Systems, Federation of Telangana MSO, DEN Manoranjan Satellite, Victory Digital, Sri Chowdeshwary Cable Network, Shyam Baba Cable Network, Panchajanya Media, Bharat Digital Cable Network, and Yogesh Cable Networks.

Earlier, on 26 September 2016, the division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Ms Sangita Dhingra Sehgal had held that two matters filed by Indusind Media & Communication Ltd and Bhima Riddhi Digital Services were challenging the challenge to the constitutional validity of certain provisions of Maharashtra Entertainment Duty Act, 1923 as amended by Maharashtra Entertainment Duty (Amendment and Continuance) Act, 2014 and not the validity of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulations 2012.

The Central Government counsel said appropriate steps would be taken before the Supreme Court to get these matters re-transferred to the respective High Courts and so the cases were adjourned sine die.

Of the remaining, one by Rajasthan Cable Operators Foundation had been dismissed as no one appeared for the petitioners, and orders reserved in two others including one by Nasik Zilla Cable Operators Association after hearing.

The Supreme Court had on 1 April this year accepted the plea of the Central Government that ‘it would be just and proper for this Court to transfer to Delhi High Court all cases pending in different High Courts, many of which had given injunction orders.

A total of 62 cases had been filed by some multi-system operators (MSOs) in various courts in the country for extension in the deadline of Phase lll. Out of these 62 cases, 12 cases had been disposed off by respective courts and 3 cases had been withdrawn by the petitioners.

(The Bombay High Court had earlier this year made a reference to the Kusum Ingots case which had said that if one high court gives an order, others can give similar orders if similar circumstances exist. indiantelevision.com had reported in January this year that the MIB had told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it had 'decided not to press the requirement of having a STB as for now till the decision of the cases which are pending before various other high courts’).

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