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Tata Sky's application prompts Delhi HC stay on TRAI's directive to DTH companies on LDPs

Tata Sky filed an application challenging TRAI’s 1 May directive

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MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s directive to direct-to-home (DTH) companies on restoring old plans of long duration pack (LDP) subscribers and abstaining from moving them to the new tariff order.

A division bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao passed the order after Tata Sky filed an application challenging TRAI’s 1 May 2019 directive.

Tata Sky’s application is also a part of the petition filed by DTH majors like Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV and broadcaster Discovery India Communication against the new tariff order for the broadcast and cable services sector. The petition has now been listed for 11 July.

While Rakesh Dwivedi represented TRAI, Kapil Sibal and Sajan Poovayya appeared for Tata Sky along with Rishi Agrawala.

“The TRAI now by way of the Direction dated 01.05.2019 is attempting to once again upset this position and arbitrarily reverse provision of services to subscribers as per the old Agreements which are in existence anymore," said Tata Sky in its application filed through advocate Agrawala.

The Harit Nagpal-led company argued that TRAI’s directive contradicted its new regulatory framework.

Tata Sky asked for a stay on the 1 May direction on the grounds that DTH operators and consumers would endure irreparable loss if a stay was not granted. The Court also asked the sector regulator to respond to the application.

The application also highlighted the fact that migration of LDP subscribers to the new regime was conducted post the roll-out of the order. Following the regulator’s 12 February directive, subscribers that did not choose new channels were moved to Best Fit Plans.

Post the 1 May directive, the application argued, two tariff regimes are bound to come into play leading to major losses to distribution platform operators (DPOs).

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