Civil court: non-CAS areas of Mumbai to pay Rs 110 for all channels

MUMBAI: Conditional access may exist in Mumbai only when quoting legalese, but it is taking the legal position in mind that a Mumbai civil court on Friday ruled that cable television subscribers in Mumbais suburbs will now have to pay only Rs 110 per month as subscription fees for all channels, including pay ones, till the time that CAS takes effect in their area.

City civil judge RS Dalvi, hearing a suit filed by Ahmed Abdi, president of Consumer Action Network, on Friday observed that the Bombay High Court had earlier declined to stay the implementation of CAS. Dalvi therefore held that cable operators could charge only Rs 72 plus taxes (Rs 110 per month) in the entire metropolis, excluding Zone A (from Colaba to Sion covering the entire island city where CAS was supposed to be implemented from 10 September). This will be in effect in the suburbs till CAS is implemented, she has ruled. The ruling also states that cable operators are disallowed from disconnecting connections of the plaintiffs until further orders.

Abdi argued that since he lives in the western suburb of Andheri, which comes under Zone 2 where CAS is to become effective from 1 October, he should be charged only Rs 110 per month for all the channels available.

The respondents in the suit filed by Abdi were Seven Star Cable and Cable Video Network, both based in the western Mumbai suburb of Andheri. The fact that both defendents were absent during the hearing could have been another factor that went against them. The next date of hearing of the case is 17 October.

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