Govt restores Home Cable's DAS licence after court intervention

NEW DELHI: The licence for digital addressable system to the multi-system operator Home Cable Network [P] Limited was today restored by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after he had obtained an order from the Delhi High Court.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court had on 18 October asked the Ministry to take a decision on restoring the licence and asked Home Cable to submit all relevant documents within a day.

The Court also permitted the MSO to negotiate and enter into the DAS Interconnect Agreements with the Pay TV broadcasters/ Channel aggregators.

The registration of Home Cable along with that of Swami Cable Network had been revoked by the Ministry on 28 August on the ground that they had failed to submit necessary documents regarding preparations for implementation of DAS and their plans for infrastructure expansion as mandated in the DAS regime.

The Ministry said in its order that the papers submitted by Home Cable were found to be in order and the order of cancellation was being revoked "in keeping with the Company’s responsiveness in adherence to the instructions of this ministry."

Home Cable Vikki Choudhary had argued that there was no ground available with the MIB to take such a punitive action against the MSO, which already had already installed DAS and had been running it since 2007 and catering to more than 11,000 Digital subscribers since Conditional Access System was introduced in South Delhi with a capacity to carry 650 Digital TV Channels.

Reiterating that he had submitted all documents well in time, Choudhary also submitted that Home Cable had failed to get replies to various issues cited by it to the Ministry concerning the interest of millions of the Cable TV subscribers and may result in a situation of complete chaos, blackouts, exploitation of consumers and eventually deficiency in the service provided when DAS is implemented from 1 November in the four metros.

Following failure of the Ministry to take action on the court order, Choudhary had written a letter to the Ministry.

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