TDSAT directs Media Pro to restore signals to Lucknow MSO

NEW DELHI: In an order that may help multi-system operators whose applications for DAS licence are pending with the government, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Media Pro Enterprises to restore television signals to Lucknow-9 Cable Network of Lucknow as an interim measure.

The Lucknow-based operator had said that its application for licence under Digital Access System (DAS) has been pending before the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for several months.

Chairperson Justice Aftab Alam and member Kuldeep Singh also directed the Lucknow network to file an affidavit to the effect that its application filed in the Ministry for grant of license under Rule 11 C of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 was not defective but was complete and in order, in all respects. It would also file a copy of the application in a sealed cover.

Meanwhile, the Lucknow-based operator would pay to content aggregator Media Pro all dues following a reconciliation of accounts and further to file an undertaking before this Tribunal that it would transmit or retransmit programmes of any channels following the provisions of section 4 A of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. This undertaking has already been filed.

Media Pro counsel Tejveer Singh Bhatia had told the Tribunal that his client could not supply the signals as it was prohibited from doing so under clause 3(2) of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Television Systems) Regulations, 2012 ‘for the simple reason that the Petitioner did not have a license under Regulation 11 C of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.’

But Counsel for the operator Vikram Singh said as there was inordinate delay in the grant of license, the operator had approached the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court which had disposed off the Petition by order dated 2 June 2013 directing the concerned authority to rid the application for license within 15 days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of that order. Counsel also stated that the date stipulated in the High Court’s order has expired on 2 July 2013 but it has so far not received any communication in regard to its application for the license.

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