Ad Cap case adjourned till 20 November

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court once again adjourned the ad cap case, this time to 20 November.


The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the lead petitioner in the matter, had sought 10 days adjournment as senior counsel S Ganesh, was not present in view to other pending cases in Mumbai.


“We had requested to accommodate the case for 10 days as the senior consel had to go to Mumbai,” said the lawyer for NBA.


However, the HC postponed the case till 20 November since it didn't have any dates before that to hear the case.


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) advocate Saket Singh emphasised that the matter has already been pending for more than 10 months.


During the last hearing on 15 July, the HC had adjourned the case as the final hearing of the bunch of petitions challenging the ad cap sort to be imposed by TRAI as the authority has not finalised its rejoinder.


The case had been previously heard in the High Court on 17 December last year and 13 March this year.


The NBA had challenged the ad cap rule, contending that TRAI does not have jurisdiction to regulate commercial airtime on television channels.


Apart from the NBA, the petition have been filed by Sarthak Entertainment, Pioneer Channel Factory, E24 Glamoru, Sun TV Network, TV Vision, B4U Broadband, 9X Media, Kalaignar, Celebrities Management, Eanadu Television and Raj Television.


The news and regional broadcasters fear that the capping of commercial airtime will curtail their ad revenues. They also argue that the ad cap must be brought only after the benefits of cable TV digitisation start kicking in.


Earlier this year, the Court also granted interim relief to Hyderabad-based MAA Television Network against the ad cap regulation. However, the court had also observed that the cap on advertisements is a ‘reasonable exercise’.


Four major broadcast networks—Star India, Zee Entertainment, Multi Screen Media and TV18 Group—are following the regulations.

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