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Supreme Court asks broadcasters, Trai to settle on cable tariff - Printable Version

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Supreme Court asks broadcasters, Trai to settle on cable tariff - Sathish - 02-28-2009

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked broadcasters and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to come out with an interim tariff arrangement for cable TV services.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, also asked both the parties to maintain status quo till next Friday, 6 March.

The apex court was hearing the case relating to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal's (Tdsat) rejection of Trai's proposal to put a ceiling on cable TV service charges across the country.

Additionally, the SC has asked broadcasters to file a reply affidavit by next Friday.

The bench said, “All broadcasters should come out with some understanding on the tariff till Trai completes its study to reframe a new tariff order within 4-6 months.”

During the course of argument, the counsel for broadcasters urged that the Tdsat had earlier set aside Trai’s cable TV pricing dated 4 October, 2007 on the ground that the regulator had violated principles of transparency in addition to various other reasons and had further asked the regulator to study the matter for six months to come out with new tariff.

The counsel for Trai, however, argued that the tariff order provides protection to about 80 million households in a very transparent and reasonable manner by specifying ceilings on the monthly cable TV charges.