TDSAT directs Tejpur MSO to not stop signals if LCOs make payments

NEW DELHI: Tejpur Cable Networks has been directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) not to disconnect the signals of Mahabhairab Cable Network and over 20 other petitioners provided they make payments as directed by the Tribunal.


The local cable operators (LCOs) were also told that they could not move on to another multi system operator (MSO) without the permission of the Tribunal.


The LCOs were permitted to file the supplementary petition bringing on record certain relevant facts, which though canvassed before the Tribunal, did not form part of the original petition. The supplementary petition may be filed within a week.


Listing the case for 16 November, TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava said the MSO could file replies to the present petition as also the supplementary petition, if any, within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the supplementary petition.


By way of an interim arrangement, the Tribunal directed Arup Borah to pay to the MSO a sum of Rs. 2.5 lakh. The payment may be made in two instalments. The first instalment amount of Rs 1.5 lakh should be paid by 20 October and the balance Rs 1 lakh by 10 November.


Similarly, petitioners 14, 17, 19, 24 and 25 should pay to the MSO sums of Rs 6100, Rs 3270, Rs 15,000, Rs 1480 and Rs 18,326 respectively by 30 October.


In addition, petitioners no 3 to 25 were directed to pay one-third of the amounts shown as outstanding against them up to September in the chart handed over by MSO counsel Sharath Sampath to the Tribunal. The payment of the one-third due amounts should be made by 10 November.


From October onwards, each of the petitioners shall pay the monthly subscription fees at the rate at which they were paying the monthly subscription in December 2013, before the reduction of 15 per cent of the amount.


All the payments as directed above will be on account basis and will be subject to the rights and liabilities of the parties as may be determined finally.


The Tribunal said it was of the view that there is an urgent need of reconciliation of accounts between the two sides “and the proper reconciliation is likely to resolve the disputes to a very large extent. However, the parties are in so much dispute that reconciliation of account may not be carried out properly by the two sides on their own and it should, therefore, be supervised by a Charted Accountant. “We, accordingly, direct both sides to appear before Mr. Rohit Vasvani, one of the mediators before the Mediation Centre of the Tribunal,” it said.


The parties were directed to appear before him with complete books of accounts and other relevant materials on 28 October. Vasvani has been requested to take up this matter on an urgent basis and to complete the reconciliation within the shortest possible time. He may ask the parties to appear before him in his office. 


Vasvani will be paid honourarium of Rs 50,000 and this amount shall be shared in the following manner:

Respondent no. 1 - Rs 20,000

Respondent no. 2 - Rs 20,000

Petitioner - Rs. 10,000 

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