Regulators

TDSAT directs Ambala MSO to clear arrears of Rs 72 lakh due to MSM Discovery

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed a petition by MSM Discovery for recovery of Rs 71.60 lakh from Ambala Communication, Haryana, which is outstanding dues on account of subscription fees.

TDSAT chairman Justice Aftab Alam and member Kuldip Singh decided the matter ex parte as no one appeared on behalf of the Ambala MSO.

The parties had entered into a subscription agreement dated 7 July, 2010 for a period from 1 April, 2010 to 31 December, 2010. It was stated that the agreement would be automatically renewed on the same terms and conditions provided therein for successive years starting from 1 January and ending on 31 December of the following year unless terminated.

The agreement between the parties was on a subscriber base of 3523, for which subscription fees of Rs 5,55,357 exclusive of taxes (Rs 6,12,498 with taxes) was to be paid.

Following a petition by the MSO in January 2012 asking for reconciling the accounts and for directions to MSM not to impose channels which the MSO did not want, TDSAT had said that the ends of justice would be served if the subscriber base was kept at 6000. (It had been contended by MSM during the hearing that the MSO had entered into an agreement with the Star group of channels at a subscriber base of 10,000).

In the present petition filed by MSM last year, it was contented that in accordance with the directions of the Tribunal, it had raised invoices on the respondent at a reduced monthly subscription fees of Rs 3,72,599 exclusive of taxes (Rs 4,18,652 with taxes) but the MSO continuously defaulted in paying the due subscription fees despite numerous reminders and requests from the petitioner. 

Ultimately, MSM served a notice dated 13 March, 2013 and finally deactivated the signals of the MSO on 17 May, 2013. 

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