DAS extension pleas quashed in Karnataka and Gujarat

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: The information & broadcasting ministry can heave a sigh of relief as the the high courts in Karnataka and Gujarat today dismissed petitions filed by cable operators seeking extension of digitisation.

The court orders mean that the government can go about systematically switching-off analogue signals in the cities that are covered in the Phase II of the rollout of cable TV digitisation in the two states.

The Karnataka high court today dismissed a petition filed by Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association (KSCOA) seeking extension of deadline for implementing digital addressable system (DAS). The KSCOA petition was trashed as the HC found no merits in the case.

Similarly, the Gujarat high court also dismissed two petitions seeking postponement of digitisation in the four cities in the state. The court also vacated the stay ordered on 28 March in the cities of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, and Vadodara.

The decision by the high courts paves the way for switch-off analogue signals in the cities that are covered in Phase II of DAS.

Expressing satisfaction, Information & Broadcasting ministry secretary Uday Kumar Varma told that the judgements vindicated the government‘s stand that the advent of new technology could not be stopped. He also said that there was no truth in reports about the shortage of set top boxes (STBs).

KSCOA president Patrick Raju said that he and his legal team would look at a copy of the court order before commenting about further action that his association would take in the matter.

Among the contentions of the cable operators association in Karnataka was that a large number of cable homes in Bengaluru and Mysore would go dark if DAS is implemented since there isn’t enough supply of STBs.

The KSCOA and MCOA (Mysore Cable TV Operators Association) had filed separate petitions, which were later clubbed together, seeking relief in the digitisation deadline due to shortage of STBs and lack of clarity on box ownership and many other issues.

The Cable Operators Association of Gujarat (COAG) in its petition had contended that there was a shortage of STBs and no clarity on acquisition of these boxes. COAG president Pramod Pandya said STBs ordered from China had failed to arrive because of internal problems in that country and therefore the local cable operators could not be penalised for this.

Also read:

Gujarat HC dismisses petitions seeking DAS extension

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

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