Delhi HC to hear Star India's plea on cable rates in March

NEW DELHI: The petition of Star India against the regulator-mandated cable TV price hike got admitted at the Delhi High Court today, but the next hearing seems to be far off.

The court has posted the case for a hearing some time in March, which might just defeat the whole purpose unless the judges agree to an early round of arguments from the various sides concerned.

However, the petitioner is optimistic that the court could be requested for a hearing in the case much before March.

The Delhi High Court adjourned for winter vacation today and will re-open in the first week of January 2006.

Leading broadcaster Star India yesterday moved the court against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) edict on cable rates primarily arguing that price regulation in a competitive broadcasting market is unjustified and does not address all the industry segments like distribution and cable operators' overwhelming ground monopoly.

The Trai-administered cable price regime takes effect exactly a year after the broadcast and cable regulator had put a ceiling of seven per cent hike on cable TV prices. The new order allows for a four per cent exclusive of taxes) annual hike in cable TV prices, effective 1 January 2006.

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