TDSAT asks Canara Star MD to attend Star India dispute hearing

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Canara Star, Bangalore’s managing director to be present in the next hearing on 28 January to answer queries relating to its ongoing dispute with Star India.


In the last hearing, which was held in the third week of December 2015, the Tribunal had asked Canara Star to intimate Star India whether it admits the SMS reports submitted by the broadcaster for the period 2014 to January 2015.


The common order by the Tribunal on three petitions including one by Star India against Canara Star claiming recovery dues of about Rs 3 crore pertaining to the MSO’s operations in Digital Addressable Area (DAS) of Bangalore said this was subject to the two parties failing to arrive at a final settlement.


The directive by TDSAT chairman Justice Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava came after being informed by Canara Star counsel Tushar Singh that the parties had failed to resolve dispute.


However, Star India counsels Kunal Tandon and Arjun Natarajan told the Tribunal that no attempts had been made by Canara Star to resolve the dispute.


Justice Alam said that TDSAT would be forced to issue warrants if the MD of Canara Star is not present on the next date.


In the last hearing, the Tribunal had also asked Canara to produce its bank statements and materials to show payments made by it towards invoices raised by Star India based on Canara's SMS reports.


Canara, which has allegedly sold off its business to another MSO - All Digital, will produce its deed of transfer of establishment to All Digital, which was made a party in the petition filed by Star India.


The other two petitions are by Canara Star challenging disconnection notices issues by Star India for analogue areas of Kumta and Bhatkal.


Star India counsels Tandon and Natarajan had produced the SMS reports on the basis of which it had billed Canara Star.


Star India argued that Canara cannot withhold payments to it for invoices, which were raised by the broadcaster on the basis of Canara Star's SMS reports.


All the three matters had been before the mediator from early August till mid November but no settlement could be arrived at.

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