Regulators

SC stays new TRAI tariff, asks Madras HC to complete hearing in four weeks

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MUMBAI: The Supreme Court of India has granted a stay on TRAI's new tariff orders. A division bench of the court comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose agreed to the demand of Star India, thus staying the new tariff order and interconnect regulations. 

Industry sources told www.indiantelevision.com, "The apex court has asked the Madras High Court to complete the hearing within four weeks." "The case will be heard on a day-to-day basis from 12 June -- the date of the next hearing scheduled by the Madras High Court," the sources added.

The Supreme Court today (Monday, 8 May) heard the appeal by Star India and Vijay TV challenging the order of the Madras High Court which refused to stay the DAS tariff order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. TRAI TV reference interconnect offer (RIO) and Quality of service order (QoS) had formally come into effect on 2 May following the order of the High Court.

High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar had directed the main petition of the broadcasters to be heard on 12 June. However, the court had said Section 3 of the Tariff order and all other consequences of such implementation/enforcement would be subject to the outcome of the main petition. The broadcasters had challenged the order of TRAI on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction over content, and that it actually came under the Copyright Act, which is not administered by TRAI, but by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, as of last year.

Apart from the tariff order which had originally been issued on 10 October last year, the regulator also issued the DAS Interconnect Regulations on 14 October, and the Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Digital Addressable Systems) Regulations issued the same day (10 October).

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