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TRAI's SLP on 15% bouquet discount cap dismissed as withdrawn in SC

Last month, the regulator had filed a petition in the top court on the issue of 15 per cent cap

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MUMBAI: The special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India seeking clarifications on the 15 per cent bouquet discount cap last month was today dismissed as withdrawn in the Supreme Court.

Pointing to the delay, the court was of the opinion that the clarification should have been sought while the matter was being argued.

The regulator also failed to obtain a written assurance from the court on the possibility of the latter entertaining similar clarifications in the future. 

Last month, the regulator had filed a petition in the top court on the issue of 15 per cent cap on discount on a bouquet price of TV channels to consumers that had been set aside by Madras High Court while upholding TRAI’s right to regulate the broadcast sector.

On a matter that’s complicated, TRAI’s petition, in layman’s language, exhorts the Supreme Court to set aside that portion of the high court judgment that frowns on the 15 per cent cap on discounts on bouquet prices of TV channels.  

The Madras High Court, while upholding most of the TRAI tariff order --- issued middle of 2016 and challenged by Star India and Vijay TV later that year on grounds of overstepping of jurisdiction --- had struck down as arbitrary almost 18 months later the 15 per cent cap on bouquet prices.

With the case finally disposed of by the Supreme Court earlier this year, upholding the high court’s views, TRAI had issued a notification stating that India’s broadcast and cable industry stakeholders implement its tariff regime in phases and report on compliance.

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