IBF moves Supreme Court over DAS Phase II hold-ups

NEW DELHI: Concerned with the increase in the number of petitions that have been filed in the past two weeks leading to a stay on the spread of cable TV digitisation (Digital Addressable System - DAS) in several states, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has knocked on the doors of the country?s apex court seeking a stay on the stay orders issued by different high courts in the country.

The IBF petition seeks to ensure that digitisation is implemented as scheduled and without any hindrance. The supreme court has posted the matter for hearing on 23 April.

The special leave petition filed by the IBF did come up before the SC, however the apex court refused to intervene after it was informed that the Karnataka high court judgment on the case was due.

The bench comprising chief justice Altamas Kabir therefore felt that the court would wait for the Karnataka High Court judgment before taking up the matter.

In the meanwhile, the Karnataka and Gujarat high courts have dismissed the petition petitions filed by Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association (KSCOA) and Cable Operators Association of Gujarat (COAG) respectively paving the way for DAS Phase II to commence.

However, petitions challenging digitisation are still pending in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and Madhya Pradesh High Court. These affect the cities of Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal. Indore, and Jabalpur.

According to IBF president Man Jit Singh, the broadcasters association wants a full and final closure on this issue by the Supreme Court so that digitisation can progress smoothly across its various phases as has been drawn up by the government in conjunction with industry.

Also read:

DAS extension pleas quashed in Karnataka and Gujarat

Gujarat HC dismisses petitions seeking DAS extension

Karnataka HC dismisses KSCOA petition, paves way for analogue cable switch-off

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