Calcutta HC extends Digicable Comm interim stay till 6 April

KOLKATA: Granting relief to Digicable Comm once again, the Calcutta High Court has extended the interim stay till 6 April 2015.

Previously, the Calcutta High Court had put the stay order on the cancellation of the registration of Kolkata-based multi-system operator (MSOs) till 17 January 2015, citing that Digicable Comm, having been in business for quite some time and would suffer irreparable loss and injury, unless appropriate ad-interim protection is granted to them.

Jishnu Saha, a senior advocate for the petitioners, did hope for an extension of the interim order. An extension was also sought to file the affidavit-in reply since affidavit-in-opposition had been filed out of time. "Interim order already granted is extended till 6 April, 2015 or until further order, whichever is earlier," said DigiCableComm Services operations and technology VP Lokesh Agarwal, quoting the letter.

As hoped, time to file affidavit-in-reply has been extended till 27 January, 2015, he further said.

It should be noted that in July last year, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had cancelled the registration of Digicable Comm. Services.

Digicable Comm, a joint venture (JV) between Digicable (51 per cent) and Kolkata-headquartered Multicar Group (49 per cent) was formed in the year 2009, to gain the foothold in the West Bengal market.

Digicable Comm is hopeful that after appealing to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and moving to the High Court, the decision would be in favour of the MSO. “We are happy to get the stay order extended from the High Court. Slowly we will expand in the region,” added Agarwal.

MHA cancelled the company’s permanent registration on 18 July due to denial of security clearance.

Cable TV experts when asked to comment on the reason for the denial of security clearance by authorities said this might be due to Amit Nag who was the then chief executive officer (CEO) and on the board and the application for DAS (digital addressable system) had his signature.

Now, going forward what happened with the MSO here is not hidden from anyone. Nag not only resigned from Digicable but had convinced around 412 of the 600 cable operators affiliated to Digi Cable to switch to Hathway along with him. More than 400 LCOs affiliated to DigiCable when switched to Hathway did not think that they would have to spend sleepless nights and some even behind bars, cable TV sources said.

At present, Digicable Com which boasted more than four lakh connections in the KM area is left with less than 50,000 set top boxes (STBs).

“We will follow the mandates. We are hopeful that the authorities would consider the minute details presented by us,” said Agarwal.

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