HC reserves order on CAS petition

NEW DELHI: CAS might have moved one step nearer to implementation with the Delhi High Court yesterday reserving its verdict on a case filed by some MSOs after the government explained its stand on addressability.

The court had asked the government whether a central law --- on CAS --- could be kept in suspended animation forever. The government yesterday submitted a written submission explaining its position.



"It is extremely important to examine the entire issue, in a holistic manner, in order to safeguard the consumers' interests and facilitate the consumers to make an informed choice. In case the CAS is implemented in the pre-suspended form in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the problems faced in implementation are likely to remain unaddressed," the Centre said in its synopsis filed through counsel Rajive Mehra, according to a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).



Hathway Cable Datacom, INCablenet and RPG had filed a case in the Delhi HC seeking direction to the Centre to implement CAS for viewing satellite TV channels in the country.

The petitioner had also pleaded that government inaction has resulted in financial losses to the MSOs who had invested in infrastructure for addressability.

Seeking time till 31 December, 2005 to examine Telecom Regulatory Authority of India?s recommendations and arrive at the final decision, the government submission said, "The actual implementation would have its own timeframe, which is difficult to predict at this stage and will depend on the content of the final policy decision by Competent Authority."

The Centre also talked of Direct-to-Home (DTH) service, saying "the consumers are likely to have an alternative addressability on cable networks through DTH service" as private companies were being issued licences for DTH service, the PTI report stated.

Earlier, the court had asked the government to either implement the law (Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act) or abrogate it. "Statute has prescribed it and you must implement it," the court had observed.

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