Regulators

TDSAT reiterates need for agreements to be able to claim payment from MSOs/LCOs even as it allows eight recovery cases

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New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal has allowed nine recovery petitions by MSM Discovery Pvt Ltd amounting to Rs 31,279,060 even as it reiterated the legal position that no dues can be claimed in cases where there is no agreement in place between the distributor/broadcaster or multisystem operator/local cable operator.

But the Tribunal noted that seven of the cases related to a period when three months period was permitted for negotiations.

In seven of the cases, the Tribunal allowed the petitions for recovery of amounts totaling Rs 28,344,942 with interest at eleven per cent from the dates when these became due till the recovery.

The seven are Gurgaon Digital Network Pvt. Ltd, Maruti Charita Cable Network, Jai Maa Kali CableNetwork, Manoranjan Cable Network, Skyline Network, Site Entertainment Pvt Ltd, and Bareilly City Cable Network.

The Tribnnal said the the petitioner had duly proved its case by leading cogent oral and documentary evidences that remain unrebutted. There is, therefore, no reason not to accept itscase in those cases.

Interestingly, all the cases were heard and decided by Chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava ex parte as no one appeared for any of the ten petitioners.

In the case of Irani Cable Network Pvt Ltd and Rathore Media Network amounting to a total of Rs 2,934,118, the disconnection had taken place before the end of agreement for non-payment of subscription and the Tribunal accepted the evidence given by the witnesses for MSM Discovery.

The Tribunal dismissed the case against Peptech Cable of Chatarpur as it noted that though on thedate of disconnection, the petitioner had dues amounting to Rs.410,130, the dues were nil on thedate of expiry of the agreement as also on the date three months beyond the expiry of theagreement..

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