MUMBAI: It has been a busy week for the courts. While on one hand, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 21 August heard a case from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Viacom 18 and MSM India challenging the tariff order amendment of 16 July that was passed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). On the other, Star India’s case challenging the TRAI order dated 18 July was heard in the Delhi High Court.
Taking into account the Delhi HC order for the Star India case which came out on 19 August, the TDSAT today postponed the next hearing date for 18 November.
The Federation of Hotel and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) had asked for refund from broadcasters for deals signed before the order came into existence that will be applicable for the current duration. However the IBF counsel stated that the order only talks of deals taking place in the new regime and the deals for which the FHRAI is asking for refunds have been done in advance.
Considering the Delhi HC order and also IBF’s proposition that in a 2012 judgment, the TDSAT had itself said that when an arrangement is ongoing between parties and a tariff order is issued, it is not applicable with retrospective effect unless mentioned in the order.
Therefore, the current deals signed will be dormant but not terminated till the end of the case. It has asked both parties to ensure all their pleadings are in place by 28 October so that a final verdict can be given on 18 November.
Star India’s case is set for its next hearing on 26 September where it has challenged the regulation itself to which Zee is also a party.