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Delhi HC refuses to rule on CAS, refers case to Trai

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court today left the vexed issue of conditional access system (CAS) to the broadcast and cable regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to take a decision on.

The court observation came on a petition filed by a clutch of consumers' bodies, earlier this year, seeking relief or the consumers on CAS on the ground that implementation of addressability at that time was not anti-consumer.

When the case was filed by Consumer co-ordination council (CCC), an apex body of 50-odd consumer organizations in the country, the cable industry was pushing ahead with the implementation of CAS.

The court also pointed out that since the last hearing, developments had taken place on the CAS front with the government having issued a notification redesignating broadcast and cable services as telecom services to be looked after by Trai, the issue of CAS should be referred to the regulator, which is already seized of the matter.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, an official of the CCC claimed victory on "behalf of the consumers" and said that the organization has already been in touch with Trai.

The CCC also claimed that it has been the inputs given by the organisation that has helped Trai in formulating some views on CAS, including the fact that the cable services prices have been frozen as of 26 December, 2003.

Meanwhile, Trai, which was supposed to have come out with its detailed consultation paper on CAS last month, is yet to do so.

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