Regulators

Coordinate with registry for mentioning TV tariff matter, says Madras HC CJ

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NEW DELHI: The case by Star India and Vijay TV challenging the jurisdiction of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in the matter of tariff orders, in which two judges of Madras High Court withdrew from the case, will be listed before newly appointed Chief Justice Indira Banerjee soon for being referred to an appropriate bench.

The Chief Justice turned down the oral mention of the matter by Star India counsel saying this was an administrative matter which should be coordinated with the registry for listing before her.  

Though it was not clear, it appeared that the two judges Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice Anita Sumanth had received a letter which prompted them to withdraw from the case. The petition had been filed by Star India and Vijay TV under the Copyright Act on the ground that TRAI could not give any directive that will affect the content since that did not fall in its purview.

Meanwhile, counsel opined that, as the pleadings were completed, the new bench will get down to hearing the arguments. Arguments had commenced on behalf of the Union Government until lunch yesterday and the matter was thereafter adjourned to today.

Earlier, Star India and Vijay TV decided not to press for their pleas for extension of the tariff order following TRAI's announcement that its tariff regulations which were slated to come into effect on 2 April were being deferred to 2 May 2017. The court had fixed the matter for further hearing on 3 April even as TRAI counsel commenced his arguments following the conclusion of the arguments by the broadcasters.

The court will also hear counsel of All India Digital Cable Federation which was allowed to intervene in the matter. Earlier on 3 March, the regulator had issued three regulations after getting a directive from the Supreme Court on its appeal against a stay granted by the Madras High Court. While granting the appeal, the apex court also asked the high court to conclude hearing in 60 days.

Apart from the Tariff order which had originally been issued on 10 October last year, the regulator also issued the DAS Interconnect Regulations which had been issued on 14 October last year, and the Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Digital Addressable Systems) Regulations which had been issued on 10 October last year. The orders can be seen at:

http://trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/Tariff_Order_English_3%20March_20...

http://www.trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/QOS_Regulation_03_03_2017.pdf

http://www.trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/Interconnection_Regulation_03...

Follwing these regulations, the broadcasters had filed an amended petition and TRAI had also replied to the same last week.

Also read:

TRAI extends tariff regulations execution date, Madras High court arguments to continue

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