TRAI jurisdiction: IBF plea dismissed, AIDCF impleadment decision on 22 Feb

MUMBAI: Cable operators body may become interveners in the Item 7 case heard last Friday between television broadcasters and TRAI over tariff issues vis-a-vis international and Indian copyright laws in the Madras High Court. Indian Broadcasting Foundation's plea to be heard in the case was however dismissed with leave to file fresh writ petition, if required. 

After Star India and Vijay TV had moved the high court appealing against TRAI’s jurisdiction to draw guidelines over tariff and commercial matters where copyrights was involved relating to content, the regulator had moved the Supreme Court seeking succour.

As far as AIDCF's impleadment application and that of D2H are concerned, while the judges were convinced that the All India Digital Cable Federation, India’s apex body for digital multi-system operators, could be interveners, whether or not they could be impleaded will be heard in next hearing as, due to paucity of time, their submissions could not be completed. AIDCF president TS Panesar could not be reached.

"There is no speaking order on AIDCF's intervention yet," STAR India's senior VP - legal and regulatory Pulak Bagchi told After Supreme Court hears the case on 20 February, it will come up in the Madras High Court, which will decide if AIDCF could implead or intervene, Bagchi said.

The Madras High Court case has now been adjourned to 22 February for further arguments in the impleadment application. The judges also verbally indicated that their writ petition would be heard, and that, if impleaded, counters would need to be filed by AIDCF by 7 March. "We undertook to do so if impleaded," an AIDCF representative told

As reported by on 1 February, 2017, MSOs had joined issue requesting the Madras High Court to hear their views too. AIDCF has sought to be impleaded in the case and urged the high court -- hearing the Star India-Vijay TV case against TRAI over draft tariff guidelines -- that, while disposing of the case, it’s viewpoints should also be heard and taken into account.

Sources had indicated that the MSOs had moved the court as they apprehended the viewpoints of  distribution platforms of TV services in India, notably the MSOs, may not be heard; especially when they have views that don’t converge with those of the petitioners on all aspects of the petition.

Industry observers had explained that the presence of distributors in the court made the case interesting as the IBF too had urged to be heard. The application of IBF however was yesterday dismissed by the high court with leave to file fresh writ petition, if required. could not reach IBF for comment and next strategy.

However the apex court, while  directing TRAI that it could continue with its regulation-framing exercise and seek its nod before mandating guidelines, observed that the regulatory body should argue its case before the Madras High Court, declining to stay proceedings in the high court.

The 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. 

With regard to the impleadment applications, Ar. L Sundaresan appeared on behalf AIDCF, Vijay Narayan appeared on behalf of D2H and A l Somayaji appeared on behalf of IBF. A counter-affidavit was filed by Vijay TV to AIDCF's impleadment application. 

Sundaresan made submissions in AIDCF's impleadment application to which Chidambaram objected. The other senior counsel also made submissions in support of their respective impleadment applications which was also objected to. 

P. Chidambaram appeared on behalf of one of the petitioners and P.S. Raman appeared for the other. They did not mention in which WP they were appearing in. And, P. Wilson appeared on behalf of the regulator TRAI. 

Also Read:

MSOs join issues with TRAI tariff plea at Madras HC

Tariff order: Don't notify without SC nod, TRAI told; Madras HC case to continue

DAS Phase IV pace slack; MIB to meet Indian STB makers

Latest Reads
MIB, DoS nudge TV channel to use Indian satellites

MUMBAI: In what could be interpreted as unease of doing business instead of ease of it, the Indian government is nudging TV channels to deal with Indian entities if they employ the services of foreign satellites. And, till that happens, permissions are being withheld or delayed.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI clears path for broadband, voice services aboard planes

Broadband connectivity and making voice calls from 32,000 feet above sea level while flying may soon become a reality over Indian space if broadcast and telecom regulator TRAI’s recommendations are accepted by some other government organisations, including ISRO.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI extends dates for comments on uplinking/downlinking consultation paper

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for receiving comments on the consultation paper relating to uplinking and downlinking of TV channels. The new dates for receiving comments and counter-comments are 31 January and 10 February respectively.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI invites ICT-based solution providers to upgrade tech

NEW DELHI: With the demand for a wide range of services based on ICT platform involving machine-to-machine and internet of things, etc. increasing, Indian broadcast and telecom regulator TRAI is looking at expanding its technical capabilities and, in this regard, has invited proposals from...

Regulators TRAI
MIB mandates broadcasters to make applications via Broadcast Seva

MUMBAI: In its latest move to ensure ease of conducting business, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has mandated TV broadcasters to make online applications for a range of submissions.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI releases paper on National Telecom Policy 2018

Seeking views from stakeholders on the new telecom policy, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a consultation paper on inputs for formulation of the National Telecom Policy 2018.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI tightens the screws on interconnectivity for telcos

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a mandate to service providers directing them to enter into an interconnection agreement on a “non-discriminatory basis” within 30 days of receiving a connectivity request from another mobile operator.

Regulators TRAI
Cross-media holding: Indian policymakers push for regulations

A section of policymakers in India is not in favour of market forces taking care of monopolistic trends in the increasingly converging print and electronic media. It has recommended government intervention—a thought-process that can have wide-ranging implications on activities of broadcasting...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Parliamentary panel pushes for TRAI's empowerment

MUMBAI: Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Communications (SCIT) wants more regulations for the broadcast industry. Finding the current powers given to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) inadequate, it has recommended that either the scope of its authority...

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories