TDSAT expresses displeasure over Hathway-Taj TV squabble, agrees to hear matter next week

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT), which earlier this month gave a lengthy order settling a dispute between Hathway Cable & Datacom and Taj Television, has expressed its ‘deep displeasure over the manner in which both sides are sniping and chipping at each other giving rise to completely futile litigations.’


The comment by TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and member Kuldip Singh came following a new miscellaneous application on the issue by Hathway on 8 August and the announcement by Taj Television that it was also filing a miscellaneous application. The Tribunal listed the matter for further hearing on 13 August.


Earlier this month, TDSAT had directed Taj Television to restore with immediate effect the signals of Zee TV channels to Hathway pending the final hearing of the petition by the latter.


It had also directed Hathway as an interim measure to make payment of the monthly subscription fees from 1 April 2014 (in case of Kolkata and Digital Addressable System - II areas) and from 1 May 2014 (in case of Delhi and Mumbai) up to 31 July at the rate of Rs 21.60 cost per subscriber basis.


The Tribunal asked Taj to reply to the petition filed by Hathway in three weeks and asked the MSO to file a rejoinder if any two weeks thereafter.


However, following a new miscellaneous application by Hathway objecting to certain advertisements and scrolls being carried on Zee channels, TDSAT said, “Having regard to the amounts of revenue that is generated by the broadcasting industry, the vast social space occupied by it and the social role it claims to play, one should have expected the two sides, each of them major players in the industry, to act responsibly and show a modicum of restraint in their dealings with each other but they seem to be freely indulging in unseemly squabbles. What is more, they seem to show no regard much less any respect for the proprieties of judicial proceedings.”


While TDSAT noted that Taj Television counsel Pratibha Singh was prepared to withdraw the advertisements and even invited Hathway counsel Arun Kathpalia to have a discussion with her on the issue, she said that distribution arm for Zee was preparing a miscellaneous application for recall or modification of the Tribunal’s order of 1 August.


The Tribunal said: “It is surprising that an application is proposed to be filed for recall/modification of the order even before our signatures on the order are yet not fully dried. The reason stated for filing the application is even more surprising; it is stated that on that date, the local people at Taj Television and the counsel representing it were not fully posted with the facts, especially in regard to the placement agreements between the two sides.”


Noting that “no party can be stopped from filing an application,” the Tribunal insisted that both parties must be present at the next hearing in person. 


Zee Channels were earlier being distributed to Hathway by Media Pro but the latter was not in a position to renew the agreements in view of the regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India around the same time the earlier agreements came to end.


Thus, the Zee group of channels came to be handled by Taj Television. But when discussions between Hathway and Taj Television for Zee TV channels failed to yield any results, Taj Television on 26 June sent the RIO based agreement executed from its side. There was delay on the part of Hathway in executing the RIO based agreement and in the meanwhile Taj Television issued the disconnection notice under regulation 6.1 on 8 July 2014 and the public notice under regulation 6.5 on 11 July 2014. However, Hathway later counter-signed the RIO based agreement and sent it back to Taj Television which refused to accept a cheque sent by Hathway. This led to the petition by the MSO. 

Latest Reads
FM P-III second batch auction from 25 Oct; 14 in fray

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III will commence on 25 October 2016 from 09.30am.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper to be held

Given the complicated issues around net neutrality, an open house discussion is to be held in Hyderabad this month on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on free data. The OHD will be held at Hotel Trident in the Telangana capital on 24 October 2016.

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati advisor reviews DD marketing and policies

Former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary and now Prasar Bharati advisor Sunil Arora yesterday asked Doordarshan to adopt the best policies of the industry, even as he approved the planned auction of slots on DD National.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Suresh Panda may be Prasar Bharati interim CEO; liberal DD auction criteria recommended

Suresh Panda, member (personnel) in Prasar Bharati is expected to take over as the acting chief executive officer of the pubcaster after the incumbent CEO Jawhar Sircar demits office on 4 November.

Regulators People
Govt. accepts Jawhar Sircar's request for early retirement

A media-savvy chief executive of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar used the social media to announce yesterday that the Indian government has accepted his resignation from the pubcaster and acceded to his request for an early retirement.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Carriage fee in interconnect draft aimed at reducing litigation

NEW DELHI: The draft of the Interconnect regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has given a formula for calculation of the carriage fee. The carriage fee for each month or part thereof during the term of the interconnection agreement shall be calculated as given below:-

Regulators TRAI
TRAI issues comprehensive interconnect draft guidelines

Indian broadcast regulator came out today with its third set of draft guidelines within five days --- this time on interconnection issues. With an aim to bring about more uniformity and transparency in the broadcast carriage sector, TRAI attempts to tackle spiralling carriage cost, rampant...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI attempts greater transparency via auditor empanelment

While it remains to be seen if the provisions of the Interconnect draft will have a salutary effect on the cases pending before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal but the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India appears to have learnt some lessons, at least as far as subscription...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI on carriage fee, other issues in draft interconnect guidelines

After taking in to consideration the comments of the stakeholders and internal analysis in TRAI, the draft regulations [the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2016] along with its explanatory memorandum have been prepared.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories