Cable TV

Rohtak Cable DAS III extension case dismissed; eight posted for 7 Dec

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NEW DELHI: While the case by Rohtak Cable Operators’ Association challenging the deadline set for Phase III of digital addressable systems (DAS) was dismissed, the Delhi High Court today directed that it would hear the other cases on 7 December 2016.

The division bench comprising the chief justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said it would pass orders in some of the matters on that date and would complete hearing in others.

The division bench is taking cognizance only of cases relating to the DAS Phase III which challenge constitutional provision, while other matters are pending before a single bench.

The cases that came up yesterday included those by Om Systems of Mumbai, Digiana Projects Pvt. Ltd., Ortel Communications Ltd., Moon I.T. Service Pvt Ltd, Allahabad Cable T.V. Operator Welfare Society, Agile Broadband Private Ltd., Ganpati Digital Network Association, and Sree Devi Digital Systems.

Earlier, on 26 September 2016, the diision bench of the chief justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal 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 the Maharashtra Entertainment Duty Act, 1923, as amended by the 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.

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 the cases pending in different high courts, many of which had given injunction orders."

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 Of these 62 cases, 12 cases had been disposed of by respective courts and three had been withdrawn.

(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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