Regulators

Bombay HC to hear petitions against TRAI order

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MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court will hear on 26 February a petition filed by the Digital Cable Operators Association of Mumbai (DCOAM) and Maharashtra Cable Operations Foundation (MCOF), challenging the 'arbitrary' rules introduced by the TRAI.

They challenged before the High Court the network capacity fee (NCF) implemented by TRAI under the NTO-2 regime. The operators’ main contention was with regard to the NCF cap of Rs 160/month fixed by TRAI and additional TV connections and discounts. The petitioners claimed that the NTO would hinder their basic right to do business.

The court has set aside the matter for hearing for Wednesday.

Adv Rahul Soman, who appeared for the operators, contended that the TRAI has not fixed an upper limit for extra channels. So, the situation is such that customers can demand any number of channels, which will hamper the cable operators’ business, argued the lawyer.

A lot of stakeholders, in addition to some individuals, have moved various high courts in the country, challenging the TRAI’s new price regime. They include various broadcasters and bodies like the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

Early this year, TRAI stipulated 200 channels for a NCF of Rs 160. The regulator has also directed the DPOs not to charge more than the stipulated monthly charge of Rs 160 for providing all the available channels.  

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