Hearing of DAS cases in Delhi HC put off to Oct

NEW DELHI: The hearing of the first bunch of cases relating to the stay orders on Phase III of Digital Addressable System has been adjourned by the Delhi High Court to 5 October as the court did not assemble after the lunch break.

The cases were listed before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who is also scheduled to hear on 13 September three more cases including that of Home Systems Pvt Ltd of Mumbai and another by Digiana Pvt Ltd which have been transferred to the Court.

The application by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) for being impleaded in the case also did not come up for hearing. However, it is expected that this may be mentioned on 13 September.

Some of the cases scheduled for hearing today included the Rohtak Cable Operators’ Association, Andhra Pradesh MSOs Welfare Federation, Multi System Operators’ Welfare Association, Sai Big Star Welfare Association, Sree Devi Digital Systems, Federation of Telangana MSO, DEN Manoranjan Satellite, Victory Digital, Sri Chowdeshwary Cable Network, Shyam Baba Cable Network, Panchajanya Media, Bharat Digital Cable Network, Nashik Zilla Cable Operators Association, Bhima Riddhi Digital Services and Yogesh Cable Networks.

A total of 62 cases had been filed by multi-system operators (MSOs) in various courts for extension in the deadline of Phase lll. Of these, 12 cases had been disposed of by respective courts and three cases had been withdrawn by the petitioners.

In the 16th Task Force meeting, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) had for the first time admitted that the Law Ministry had observed that the order passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court staying Phase III “appears to have all lndia applicability”.

(The Ministry had sought this opinion in view of the Bombay High Court making a reference to the Kusum Ingots case which had said that if one high court gives an order, others can give similar orders if similar circumstances exist. had reported in January this year that the MIB had told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it had 'decided not to press the requirement of having a STB as for now till the decision of the cases which are pending before various other high courts’).

The meeting had been told that there were no cases in twenty states but the MIB was not in a position to issue orders in view of the advice given by the law ministry.

Earlier, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation had withdrawn its petition after the Supreme Court said that the order of the Bombay High Court did not imply any pan-India stay.

Cases are pending in the High Courts of Bombay, Hyderabad (with separate petitions for Telengana and Andhra Pradesh), Allahabad, Assam, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh for the entire states, apart from Tamil Nadu where prolonged legal cases have been pending since Phase I.

In Karnataka, three individual stakeholders got stay orders in Mangalore and Mysore areas while there is no state-wide stay.

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