SC stays Tdsat order on cable tariffs for commercial establishments

NEW DELHI: In an important judgment that will affect cable and broadcast services in the country, an order by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (Tdsat) rejecting a decision to keep commercial establishments outside the purview of cable price regulation was stayed until further orders by the Supreme Court.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice SH Kapadia and Justice KS Radhakrishnan stayed the orders of the Tdsat, which had directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to have a re-look of its policy relating to commercial establishments in a broad-based manner instead of leaving establishments to negotiate on their own with respective broadcasters for their cable tariff.

"You cannot treat every one on par... Until further direction Tdsat order is stayed," said the apex court.  
The Tdsat order of 28 May relates to a Trai‘s notification of November 2006 that kept luxury and heritage hotels out of the purview of price regulations for cable tariffs.
The order came on a petition moved today by ESPN Software India against Tdsat‘s order that effectively prevents them from charging higher tariffs from commercial establishments.

ESPN Software India contended through lawyer Nanju Ganpathy that Tdsat had also failed to give a time frame to Trai to re-look at its policy.

Trai had informed Tdsat during the hearing that it was going into the question of tariff for hotels and commercial establishments through a consultation process. ESPN, therefore, feels that the Tdsat could have waited for this process.

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