Regulators

SC keeps TRAI request on tariff pending till Madras HC completes hearing

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today refused to step in to allow TRAI to issue final broadcast tariff regulations, saying it would wait for the final outcome of a case in Madras High Court on a similar matter. The case in the apex court now has been listed for late March.

TRAI had filed a special leave petition in SC requesting quashing of a Madras HC order stopping it from issuing tariff guidelines till it disposed of a petition filed by Star TV and Vijay TV relating to whether TRAI can frame rules relating to tariff and copyright laws, both   Indian and international.

About 10 days back TRAI, as directed by the SC earlier, had submitted in a sealed envelope its final broadcast tariff guidelines seeking permission to notify the same.

The apex court, while directing TRAI that it could continue with its regulation-framing exercise and also argue the matter in the Madras High Court had directed that before mandating any fresh rules, the broadcast and telecoms regulator should seek its permission.

The Madras HC high court had asked TRAI to maintain status quo on tariff guidelines till full hearing of the case filed by Star India and Vijay TV. The court would later this month also hear the case of Indian MSOs’ industry organisation, AIDCF, which had requested to be impleaded in the Star TV and Vijay TV vs. TRAI case and be heard.

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