Regulators

Bombay HC orders conflicting parties to present submissions on the validity of sec11 of TRAI Act by 31 August

The bench will hear the matter finally on 2, 7 and 8 September

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KOLKATA: Amid the ongoing tussle between the Broadcasters and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India( TRAI) regarding the amended new tariff order (NTO 2.0), the Bombay High Court’s division bench comprising of Justice A A Sayed, Justice Anuja Prabbhudesai heard the case on Thursday. The bench has ordered the parties to submit additional submissions on the validity of section 11 of the TRAI Act by 31 August. 

The bench will hear the matter finally on 2, 7 and 8 September and will pronounce judgment following the hearings. As per today’s order, regulations will remain in force but no coercive steps can be taken by the regulator. It also added the Indian government is at liberty to file an affidavit on the validity of section 11 if needed. 

Meanwhile, TRAI in a recent notification directed all broadcasters to comply with the provision of NTO 2.0 by 26 August, substituting the earlier timeline of 10 August as the final judgement on the case was expected on 24 August. The confusion regarding the implementation appears to persist as again the pronouncement of verdict has been postponed to next month. 

Earlier this year,  the power to issue tariff orders by TRAI was challenged by broadcasters when they filed a writ petition on NTO 2.0 against the authority. “Violation of the mandatory principles of Section 11(4) of the TRAI Act and thus acting in a matter that is inconsistent with the TRAI Act, 1997” - was mentioned as one of the broad grounds of the challenge.

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