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SC orders status quo on cable TV tariff for two weeks - Printable Version

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SC orders status quo on cable TV tariff for two weeks - Sathish - 03-07-2009

New Delhi, March 06: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the multi-system operators and local cable operators to charge fee as per the directions of broadcast regulator TRAI, which has proposed Rs 132-260 for cable services in non-CAS areas.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan in an interim order said the tariff, which was in existence at the time when the sectoral tribunal rejected TRAI's order putting a ceiling on cable service charges, will continue for next two weeks.

"Status quo as on the date of the TDSAT order to continue," it said, while adjourning the matter for two weeks.

Broadcast regulator TRAI on October 4, 2007, had issued a circular directing a price band of Rs 132-260 for cable services based on a classification of cities and the number of pay channels provided by multi-system operators (MSOs).

Earlier, the court had asked the broadcasters to work out some interim arrangement (till TRAI completes its exercise of reframing the new tariff order within 4-6 months) on tariff to be charged across the country.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had set aside the Telecommunications (Broadcasting & Cable) Services (Second) Tariff (Eighth Amendment) Order 2007 and held that the regulator had violated principles of transparency.

TRAI had challenged the TDSAT judgement.