Television

Raj TV starts uplinking from Bangkok; SC bench to hear the case in December

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MUMBAI: Raj Television Network has started uplinking its channels from Bangkok on 18 November at 12:05 am on a temporary basis in deference to a court order.

According to the network CEO and marketing head Rajeev Nambiar, the new arrangement is for two weeks.

Nambiar said a division bench of the Supreme Court would hear the case again in the first week of December.

"Supreme Court while issuing the notice, has asked us to stop uplinking from the Chennai teleport facility. Obeying this order, we have shifted the uplinking operations to Thaicom Bangkok for two weeks," he added.

In what seems like an optimistic anticipation, Nambiar pointed out that this is a "stopgap arrangement," which will be there till the case comes up before the Supreme Court bench again for hearing in the first week of December.

The court battle between the communication ministry and the Raj TV network had been going on since some time.

It all started with the ministry revoking the licence given to Raj TV since the network had been telecasting two channels - Vissa and Raj Musix- for over a year without valid licence or permission.

This was being done at a time when the licence granted was valid for Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus only.

Another serious charge made by the ministry against the network was the non-renewal of its licence. The network had continued to telecast its channels without renewing the licence even after it had expired in September 2003.

On 8 November, a division bench of Madras High Court had terminated the network's licence before granting it ten days' time to fulfill its Diwali programming obligations.

According to Nambiar, the network, meanwhile, moved the SC, filing a special petition and stay application against the Madras High Court order.

But on 17 November, the apex court upheld the decision of communication ministry to cancel the network's uplinking licence.

These developments forced the channel to shift its uplinking from the Chennai teleport to Bangkok on 18 November.

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