TDSAT directs Star India to reconnect signals to Ortel on receipt of half of due amount

NEW DELHI: Star India was directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to reconnect the signals to Ortel Communications within 24 hours as Ortel counsel gave cheques for Rs 3,34,93,967 to Star India counsel Rajsekhar Rao.

The petition had been filed against disconnection of signals by Star with effect from 2 July 2016 in view of various notices issued under relevant regulations for both DAS and non-DAS areas.

In his order, member B B Srivastava on 11 July 2016 said Ortel was desirous to have the interconnect agreement renewed but on RIO terms of Star.

The cheques submitted were for 50% of the outstanding amount till June 2016 (Rs 6,77,71,172). The balance amount of Rs.342,77,205 as well as the installment agreed to be paid by 31 July 2016, will be paid by 25 July 2016 and 31 July 2016 respectively. The petitioner would a lso adhere to the payment schedule as agreed to earlier.

The petitioner's desire to have a fresh agreement on RIO basis for DAS areas would be on the basis of RIO and for non-DAS areas, the two sides will negotiate and sign an appropriate interconnect agreement as per TRAI Regulations within two weeks.

In the meanwhile, the terms and conditions of the old agreement would continue to govern the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent and the petitioner will abide by the payment schedule and other terms of the previous agreement.

Ortel meanwhile denied any charges of piracy for which FIRs had been lodged.

Earlier, the petitioner had come before the Tribunal against these notices and when the matter was taken up on 27 May 2016, the petitioner submitted that the parties had arrived at an agreement and therefore, it withdrew the petition.

The mutual agreement arrived at between the parties had been documented in the form of emails dated 26 May 2016 and a communication to the petitioner on 17 June 2016.

However, the matter came up again in view of the amount of Rs 6,77,71,172 of which half was paid by chequest which the Bank refused to accept as there was "stop payment" instructions by the petitioner to the bank in view of the disconnection.

(Updated on 20 July 2016 6:25 pm)

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