DAS extension: Karnataka HC reserves order till 16 April

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI: The Karnataka High Court is set to decide on 16 April whether the stay on Digital Addressable System (DAS) roll-out in Bengaluru and Mysore will continue after the hearing in the matter concluded today.

The HC reserved its order after hearing arguments of Union of India represented through Information & Broadcasting (I&B) ministry and the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), which had impleaded itself in the case on Monday.

Earlier, the HC had heard arguments from petitioners Karnataka State Cable TV Operators (KSCOA) and Mysore Cable TV Operators Association (MCOA) and Multi System Operators (MSOs), the respondents in the case.

The interim order restraining MSOs from disconnecting analog signals continues in both the cities.

The KSCOA and MCOA had filed petitions, which were later clubbed together, seeking relief in digitisation deadline due to shortage of Set Top Boxes (STBs) and lack of clarity on STB ownership.

The MSOs and IBF have sought the dismissal of petition on the ground that a large number of homes have already been seeded and there is no need for an extension to seed STBs in the remaining homes.

Hearing in Gujarat adjourned till 16 April

Meanwhile, the hearing of digitisation extension case in the Gujarat High Court could not take place as the court was pre-occupied with other matters. The HC has adjourned the case till 16 April which means that the stay in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara will continue.

The Cable Operators Association of Gujarat (COAG) had filed a petition seeking postponement of digitisation due to shortage of STBs. The COAG through its president Pramod Pandya has filed a rejoinder to an affidavit filed by I&B ministry.

Pandya said STBs ordered from China has failed to arrive because of internal problems in that country and therefore the local cable operators (LCOs) should be given more time to seed STBs in all the homes.

The Government has already switched off analogue signals in the remaining 30 cities that were covered under phase II of digitisation beginning 1 April.

Along with Karnataka and Gujarat, digitisation has also been stayed in two cities of Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam - where the hearing is expected to commence next week.

Also read:

Stay continues in Karnataka and Gujarat as courts adjourn hearing to 10 April

IBF joins MSOs to oppose DAS extension in Bengaluru and Mysore

Stay continues in Bengaluru and Mysore as HC pushes hearing to 8 April

DAS Phase II: Karnataka HC extends hearing to 5 April, stay to continue in Bengaluru

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