TDSAT: IndiaCast to restore signals to Ortel against interim payment

NEW DELHI: IndiaCast Distribution Pvt Ltd has been directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to restore signals to Ortel Communications Ltd on receipt of a sum of Rs one crore as an interim measure. Chairman justice Aftab Alam and member B B Srivastava said that both parties should reconcile their accounts and Ortel will make the balance payment within two weeks thereof.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on 30 May, while noting that Ortel counsel Navin Chawla did not seriously dispute the amounts due,but wanted the signals to be restored and was willing to sign a new interconnect agreement on IndiaCast’s RIO terms.

Ortel had approached the tribunal against the disconnection notice. According to IndiaCast, Ortel had dues amounting to Rs 1.96 crore as on 31 March when the interconnect agreement came to an end and so the signal was disconnected on 28 March.

IndiaCast counsel Ramji Srinivasan contended that Ortel had continued to disseminate the signals of his client even after 28 March and should be asked to pay for that as well. However, Chawla contested any allegation of unauthorized transmission.

The tribunal said this issue could be raised during the reconciliation of accounts and if there was no agreement between the parties, they would have to abide by the order of the tribunal. On restoration of signals, IndiaCast was also free to hold an audit of the headends of Ortel.

The tribunal also made it clear that after the restoration of signals, the subscription to be paid would be according to IndiaCast RIO terms expected by 1 May, subject to the final order of the tribunal. India Cast was free to disconnect in the event of failure to make payments as directed by the tribunal or non-cooperation during the reconciliation.

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