Conflicting claims over Mumbai High Court ruling of 7 March

MUMBAI: The High Court ruling on 7 March 2003 has led to a lot of confusion and varying interpretations amongst the various cable trade constituents.

A division bench of the Mumbai High Court comprising chief justice C L Thakker and Dr DY Chandrachud ruled that the matter would be ordered to be placed in the High Court in the second week of April 2003.

The court order also accepted one of the petitioner's Seven Star cable's undertaking that there would be no disconnection or stoppage of broadcasting of programmes except in individual cases of non-payment of regular charges.

However, the order states that the above statement doesn't prevent arguments on behalf of the MSOs.

Seven Star officials claim that the above mentioned statement is binding on all the MSOs (multi-system operators) in Mumbai. However, the counsels of the other MSOs argue that the decision is binding only on Seven Star (which gave the undertaking) and not necessarily on the other MSOs. They also claim that the existing agreements between the cable operators and the MSOs are still valid.

Other cable sources say that Seven Star isn't a full-fledged MSO in the true sense of the word in terms of their total reach across Mumbai city. They also point out that Seven Star had already hiked its rates in late 2002 and the trade/consumers had protested against these rate hikes then.

Most of the other MSOs increased their rates only in January 2003 as per the new rate agreements with the broadcasters who hiked the rates of the pay channels.

Also, the MSOs say, the consumer prices cannot be determined by the courts and will be determined by market forces. They insist that the cable operators affiliated to them would have to collect the new rates applicable from 1 January 2003 as per the agreement.

The High Court ruling also directed the cable associations named respondents (Mumbai Cable Operators Federation - MCOF - amongst others) to avoid disconnections as the counsel for the petitioners had served notices and undertook the process of filing affidavit of services.

The other cable associations in the city who are not affiliated to MCOF say that the HC ruling is not binding on them.

Meanwhile, the cable operators associations are hoping that at the next CAS task force meeting on 21 March, some indications as to the FTA basic tier pricing will be provided by the government. The cable operators are also awaiting another hearing on the issue of the lower cap of Rs 150 (filed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya) which is scheduled for 2 April 2003.

Another rumour doing rounds is that cable operators are collecting funds (Rs 1,000 per operator) to petition the Supreme Court. Some operators say that this is the only way to pre-empt any future decision that the High Court may arrive at.

Also read:

HC to hear affected parties on 4 April

Latest Reads
MIB favours self-regulation, TRAI says some regulation mandatory

NEW DELHI: Even as he favoured the idea of self-regulation in the media, Minister for Information and Broadcasting (MIB) M Venkaiah Naidu stressed that “regulation should not become strangulation” and added the government wants to be a facilitator for creating a good business environment for the...

Regulators I&B Ministry
FM Phase III e-auction tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The e-auctions for the second batch of Radio FM Phase III has been put off by a day to 26 October 2016.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI tariff order, interconnect regulations; date for responses extended

NEW DELHI: Stakeholders wanting to give in their reactions to the latest draft Tariff order for Digital Addressable Systems, the Quality of Service and Consumer Protection Regulations, and the draft interconnect regulations have been given time till 15 November 2016 to respond.

Regulators TRAI
FM P-III auction: EMD, bidders initial eligibility declared

NEW DELHI: Even as the day of the e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III on 25 October 2016 approaches, the Government has released the earnest money deposit (EMD) by the pre-qualified bidders and the initial eligibility points (IEP) of each of these.

Regulators I&B Ministry
FM P-III second batch auction from 25 Oct; 14 in fray

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III will commence on 25 October 2016 from 09.30am.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper to be held

Given the complicated issues around net neutrality, an open house discussion is to be held in Hyderabad this month on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on free data. The OHD will be held at Hotel Trident in the Telangana capital on 24 October 2016.

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati advisor reviews DD marketing and policies

Former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary and now Prasar Bharati advisor Sunil Arora yesterday asked Doordarshan to adopt the best policies of the industry, even as he approved the planned auction of slots on DD National.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Suresh Panda may be Prasar Bharati interim CEO; liberal DD auction criteria recommended

Suresh Panda, member (personnel) in Prasar Bharati is expected to take over as the acting chief executive officer of the pubcaster after the incumbent CEO Jawhar Sircar demits office on 4 November.

Regulators People
Govt. accepts Jawhar Sircar's request for early retirement

A media-savvy chief executive of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar used the social media to announce yesterday that the Indian government has accepted his resignation from the pubcaster and acceded to his request for an early retirement.

Regulators I&B Ministry

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories