Scatmag.com

February 2020

NTO-2 TARIFF CASE ADJOURNED



The Bombay High Court has adjourned the broadcast tariff case to 30th January, since the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and other petitioners have sought time to study TRAI's reply.

The IBF along with Star India, ZEEL, TV18, Viacom18, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), Zoom Entertainment and Film & Television Producers Guild of India have challenged TRAI's revised Tariff Order on the grounds that the new amendments infringe their fundamental rights.


HEARINGS

In the previous hearing on 14th January, the bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Riyaz Chagla had directed TRAI to file a reply in one week. The bench had also refused to stay the amendments to the new regulatory framework.

On 22 January, court did not allow an NGO, Telecom Watchdog, to intervene and told its counsel Raju Subramanian that the matter was in good hands.






HUGE SUBMISSION BY TRAI

On 22 January, TRAI submitted 1,700 documents electronically, as part of its detailed reply to the IBF and other broadcasters' writ petitions.

When the bench asked why a rejoinder is necessary, Janak Dwarkadas, counsel for 1 of the 9 petitioners, said the authority has filed a 100-page reply that needs to be responded to.

The petitioners were granted 1 week's time to go through the reply and file a rejoinder if required.


BROADCASTERS DEFIANT

In the absence of a court stay, all pay Channel broadcasters were required to declare their revised Pay Channel tariffs by 15th January 2020. In what the industry sees as an act of defiance, Pay channels have refused to declare their revised a-la-carte rates and Pay Channel packages.

The amended tariff order and regulations come into force from 1st March. n