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SC adjourns Star India's petition on TRAI tariff order to 11 September

Star India & Vijay TV had filed an SLP against Madras HC clearing TRAI orders

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MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 11 September 2018.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) was first out of the blocks in publishing the RIO, declaring the MRP and nature of channels in connection with its tariff order, which had a 31 August deadline. The Punit Goenka-led company was followed by TV18 Broadcast Limited ( TV18), Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPNI), who adhered to the regulator’s directive on September 4.

The TRAI tariff orders, first contested in Madras High Court by the petitioners, were cleared by the Chennai court with certain riders after hearings that continued almost over 16 months in front of two benches of the court.

After the Madras HC had given a thumb up to TRAI tariff order, and both the petitioners and the defendant (TRAI) had filed caveats in the Supreme Court, the regulator had bowled a googly saying that its tariff order would come into effect from 3 July 2018 as all judicial compliances had been completed.

“Having complied with  the  judicial  mandates  in  the  matter,  the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems)  Tariff   Order, 2017 and  the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 as upheld by the Hon'ble Madras High  Court and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards  of   Quality  of  Service and  Consumer  Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 come into effect from 3rd July 2018,” the regulator had said in a statement pointing out that all timelines mentioned in the original order should be adhered to immediately.

According to TRAI, implementation of the new regulatory framework will “bring in transparency”, enable provisioning of affordable broadcasting and cable TV services for the   consumer and, at the  same time, “would lead to an orderly growth of the sector”.

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