MUMBAI: The Supreme Court of India has refused the request of ETV and MAA TV to give stay on the order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) dated 14 March 2014 which had directed the two channels to provide signals to the Headend In The Sky (HITS) operator JAINHITS.
Moreover, the Apex court has directed ETV and MAA TV, in the interim, to provide signals within two-days on pan-India basis to the HITS player.
“Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL) has been trying to get signals for JAINHITS from various broadcasters for the past two years, but have been denied the same on various grounds. It was only in October last year that broadcasters started providing signals, after orders were passed by the Tribunal. However ETV and MAA TV still were reluctant to provide signals thus necessitating NSTPL to approach TDSAT,” informed NSTPL counsel Vivek Chib.
According to the Tribunal’s 14 March 2014 order that comprised TDSAT chairperson Justice Aftab Alam and Kuldip Singh, ETV and MAA TV could not refuse to grant signals to JAINHITS on the grounds that certain defaulter local cable operators (LCOs) or multi system operators (MSOs) may approach NSTPL for signals.
The Tribunal held that the respondents i.e. ETV and MAA TV had not furnished the name of a single MSO or LCO that might have been held to be its defaulter by a court or competent authority and to whom the petitioner might supply the signals. Undeniably, the petitioner itself was not in any default in payments to the respondent for the simple reason that they were not in any business relationship earlier. Thus looked at from any angle, the prohibition of the provision to regulation 3.2 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection Regulations, 2004 was not applicable to this case.
Both ETV and MAA TV had preferred appeals challenging the Tribunal’s orders in the Supreme Court showing unwillingness to provide signals to NSTPL’s JAINHITS.
As a result of this interim order passed in favour of NSTPL, JAINHITS consumers would now be able to subscribe to ETV and MAA TV.