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Notice issued to Union of India on five DAS Phase III petitions

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NEW DELHI: Notice was issued by the Delhi High Court to the Union of India (Information and Broadcasting Ministry) on five petitions relating to the stay orders on Phase III of Digital Addressable System.

Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Ms Sangita Dhingra Sehgal heard the petitioners for some time before issuing the notice and adjourning the matters to 26 September 2016.

The cases that came up today related to petitions by Radiant Digitek Networks Pvt Ltd, Rajasthan Cable Operators Foundation, Nasik Zilla Cable Operator Association, Indusind Media and Communication Ltd, and Bhima Riddhi Digital Services. While the first two are against Union of India, the other three are against the state of Maharashtra.

Yesterday, the first batch of a large number of cases was adjourned to 5 October. They had been listed before Mr Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who is also to hear on 13 September another three cases including one by Home Systems Pvt Ltd of Mumbai and another by Digiana Pvt Ltd, which have been transferred to the Court. They could not be heard as the single bench did not assemble after the lunch break.

As a result, the application by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation for being impleaded in the case also did not come up for hearing. However, it is expected that this may be mentioned on 13 September.

The cases that were listed yesterday included the 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.

The Supreme Court had on 1 April accepted the plea of the Cemtral Government that ‘it wouldbe just and proper for this Court to withdraw all those cases pending in different HighCourts and transfer the same to Delhi High Court.’

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 Out of these 62 cases, 12 cases had been disposed off by respective courts and 3 cases had been withdrawn by the petitioners.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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