Delhi HC disposes off Cas LPA, wants implementation 'in letter and spirit'

NEW DELHI: A division bench of Delhi High Court today disposed off the Cas case, and reiterated its earlier orders of 20 July, 2006 regarding implementation of Cas "in letter and spirit", and said if any parties, including MSOs, were not satisfied with that implementation, they could reapproach the court.

The court held that the government Letter Patent Appeal (LPA) was infructuous because Cas has been implemented by the government, but said also that government is free to pursue separate remedies in if any arising out of the 10 March 2006 order.

The court held that the case was infructuous because Cas has been implemented by the government, but said also that government is free to pursue separate legal remedies if any, arising out of the 10 March 2006 order.


This has reference to the government wanting to raise the issue that if it has a legal right to switch on Cas it had a commensurate right to switch off Cas.

Jubilant MSO and LCO sources said that this would mean that as per the March 10 order, read with the order today, Cas has to be implemented in the four metros and their surrounding areas as well, taking note that the court had mentioned Delhi and NCR as the area of implementation.


"This will finally give the choice to the people who have shifted from the main cities to the suburbs but have purchasing power, and do away with the north-south divide that has developed in the four metros," said a senior legal counsel, requesting anonymity.

The Delhi High Court had on 20 July last year ordered that CAS (conditional access systems) should be introduced in all three metros on or before 1 January 2007.

The court, in its order, had also made clear its resolve not to allow further delays in the matter, declaring that all pending and any new issues related to CAS raised by the government would be taken up only after the CAS‘ implementation deadline of 31 December 2006.

Accordingly, it set the next date of hearing on the matter for 10 January 2007.

The notification stated: "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 4A, read with section 9 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995), the Central Government, having been satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, and having regard to the aforesaid order dated the 20th July, 2006 of the Hon‘ble High Court of Delhi, hereby notifies 31st December, 2006 as the date from which it shall be mandatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of every pay channel through an addressable system in the areas notified by the Government of India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting vide number S.O. 792(E) dated the 10th July, 2003."

The areas that fall under the CAS notification are the Kolkata Metropolitan areas, the areas covered by the Municipal Council of Greater Mumbai and the National Capital Region of Delhi.

The Union government had filed the LPA, which has been disposed off today, stating that the time given it was too little, and hence had wanted a decision on the issue.

This is what the Delhi High Court ordered today, pointing out that since the government had already (partially) implemented Cas, the LPA is infructuous, and the order of July 20, 2006 has to be implemented "in letter and spirit".

Industry sources said that this means since the July 20 order was on the issue of the March 10 order by a single-judge bench, which had ordered implementation of Cas across the metros, the order issued today by the Delhi High Court would clean up the path for the implementation of Cas across the metros.

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