Regulators

Star-TRAI case suffers as another judge withdraws in Madras HC

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MUMBAI: The TRAI tariff standoff with Star India, which is pending before the Madras High Court, seems to have hit another roadblock.

It has been learnt that another judge -- Justice Govind Rajan -- on Monday recused himself from the case. Star India SVP - legal and regulatory Pulak Bagchi confirmed while speaking to www.indiantelevision.com that he has withdrawn citing personal reasons. To a question, Bagchi said that the case may be referred to another bench in 2-3 days.

In the first week of April, the case by Star India and Vijay TV challenging the jurisdiction of TRAI in the matter of tariff orders took a surprising turn when Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice Anita Sumanth recused themselves.

Though it was not clear, it appeared that the two judges 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 that day and the matter was thereafter adjourned.

Star India and Vijay TV had 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. 

Now, it is up to the chief justice of the Madras High Court to nominate another bench to hear the case as the recusing judge had written to the CJI that the matter was important and a new bench should be identified on an urgent basis to dispose of the case.

Also Read :

Star - TRAI copyright case: In dramatic turn, Madras HC judges withdraw

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

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

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