NEW DELHI: Sai Prasad Media Pvt Ltd has been asked by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to pay to UCN Cable Network Pvt Ltd a sum of Rs 67,21,500 with interest at the rate of 8 percent from 28 August 2015 till date of payment for carrying the News Express channel on its network.
Chairman Justice Aftab Alam and member B B Srivastava, who heard the matter ex parte as Sai Prasad Media did not put in an appearance, came to their judgment on the basis of the documents presented and the lone witness examined.
The tribunal said: “In view of the facts and circumstances as well as documents and evidences available in support of petitioner's claim, as well as consistent refusal on the part of respondent to present its case by way of nonappearance, we find and hold that the agreement has been acted upon by both sides; albeit only partially by the respondent.”
While UCN Cable had demanded interest at 24 per cent, the Tribunal confined it to 8 per cent but said the payment has to be made within eight weeks.
The petitioner said it had entered into an agreement dated 29 October 2012 with the respondent for the period 1 August to mid-.2013 for carrying the latter's channel News Express on its network. According to the petitioner, a fresh agreement dated 14 June 2014 was again executed between the petitioner and the respondent for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. The consideration money for placement of the news channel (News Express) was Rs 75 lakh excluding applicable service tax.
UCN says it carried the channels from its network and placed them on the desired frequency as mentioned in the agreement; and raised regular invoices upon the respondent. However, the respondent in breach of the terms of the agreement did not make payment of the agreed amount; and the total outstanding as on 31 March 2015 amounted to Rs 67,21,500. The petitioner has also submitted that under the previous agreement as well, Sai Prasad Media had defaulted to the extent of Rs.93,63,328 due and payable to the petitioner till 31 March 2014.
It has been stated that only in pursuance of a notice of 5 March 2014, Sai Prasad Media made a payment of Rs 90,55,038 on 7 April 2014. However, no payment was received from Sai Prasad Media thereafter. It has been stated that another notice dated 18 March 2015 was served upon the respondent for payment of Rs 67,21,500.
The sole witness on behalf of the petitioner Amit Aggarwal, working as manager, Legal in the petitioner company submitted his evidence through affidavit and he has formally proved the documents annexed with the petition. Aggarwal was examined by the Advocate Commissioner and his evidence has been taken on record.