Regulators

TDSAT orders INX News to pay Manthan's Rs 96 lakh outstanding due

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NEW DELHI: INX Media Pvt Ltd has been directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) to pay to Kolkata’s Manthan Broadband Services Pvt Ltd outstanding dues of Rs 95.76 lakh.

 

According to the judgment by TDSAT chairman Justice Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava, INX will have to pay the amount after deducting TDS, if any, deposited by it with the income tax authorities for which it will provide the TDS certificates.

 

The amount is to be paid within six weeks from the date of the order. The sum so payable will also carry interest at the rate of eight per cent from 17 May 2013, which is the date of filling of the petition and till the same is paid to Manthan.

 

The cost of litigation was assessed as Rs 25,000.

 

According to Manthan, Fifth Avenue Media of Mumbai acting on behalf of INX News had agreed to pay a sum of Rs 1.15 crore for the placement of the channel for the period 1 June, 2011 to 31 May, 2012. Though the channel was placed as per the agreement, INX News made a payment of Rs 31.07 lakh only and has not made any further payment to Manthan.

 

The Tribunal said after considering the facts of the case, rival submissions and evidence on record as well as the law in this regard, it was convinced that Fifth Avenue Media was acting on behalf of INX News and there was an agreement between the parties for placement of the INX News channel on the network of Manthan.

 

The Tribunal was informed that it had been agreed that Manthan would be paid this amount in advance in three equal instalments.

 

However, INX News had denied any such agreement or that it had approached Manthan through Fifth Avenue Media.

 

Nevertheless, Manthan had produced evidence before the Tribunal, which noted that though the initial e-mails exchanged were between Gurmeet Singh representing Manthan and Gaurav Kohli of Fifth Avenue Media, an e-mail was written by INX News’ Anuj on 29 June, 2011 to Kohli enclosing a soft copy of the distribution agreement for Manthan. The same was forwarded by Kohli to Singh on 30 June, 2011, with a copy to Anuj.

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