NEW DELHI: Some more channels today joined the large number of news and general entertainment channels whose matters challenging the issues relating to the adcap sought to be implemented by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be heard by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 31 October.
Member Kuldeep Singh of TDSAT tagged along with the other cases those by Eenadu group of Andhra Pradesh and the Sarthak Entertainment group of Odisha.
While TDSAT had on 1 October listed all matters to come up on 21 October, it had deferred this date to 31 October following a mention by News Broadcasters Association (NBA) who had earlier been given the date of 11 November for hearing the petition challenging the constitutional mandate of TRAI in the matter of adcap.
TDSAT had earlier accepted an assurance by TRAI not to take any coercive action against the channels.
Counsel for TRAI Saket Singh had told TDSAT in an earlier hearing that an anomalous situation had been created with some channels having accepted the adcap with effect from today, 1 October. It was therefore requested that the matter be resolved once for all.
The Tribunal had earlier said that while the channels will maintain weekly records of the advertising time per hour on a weekly basis, they will not be required to submit this to the regulator. Unlike the current practice, the records will only be submitted to TDSAT at the time of the hearing of the case.
At that time, Counsel A J Bhambani for the NBA had said that a delegation of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) had submitted a formula to the regulator but that did not preclude the broadcasters from challenging the validity of the regulations.
He also said that this was only a compromise reached between the broadcasters and the regulator and could not form the basis of penal action since it was not a regulation or legal provision.