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DTH News: Delhi HC allows Dish TV, Videocon d2h to implead in TRAI matter - Printable Version

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Delhi HC allows Dish TV, Videocon d2h to implead in TRAI matter - nairrk - 12-28-2017

MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operators Dish TV and Videocon d2h have been impleaded in the quality of service (QoS) matter in Delhi High Court.

The two DTH operators that are on the verge of merging had filed applications under Order I Rule 10 CPC seeking impleadment as a respondent to the writ petitions filed by Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia, the DTH arm of Bharti Airtel.

Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia have challenged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) QoS service regulations issued in March.

The DTH operators contended that in connected matters such applications have been allowed with a direction that the applicant would be permitted to make submissions at the time of hearing of the writ petition. Earlier, the HC had allowed All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) to implead in the matter.

The counsel for Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia didn’t object to the impleadment following which the high court accepted Videocon d2h and Dish TV’s prayer to be permitted to make submissions only at the time of the hearing.

Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia also agreed to the adjournment of the matter till the time Madras High Court decides on Star India’s appeal in the Madras High Court. Star has challenged the tariff order and the interconnection regulation in the Madras HC, which has reserved the judgement in the matter.

The Delhi HC, meanwhile, ordered that the order dated 29 August would continue until further orders. The matter has been listed on 22 March 2018.

On 29 August, the TRAI had submitted before that it will not implement the tariff order and the interconnect regulation in view of the status quo order passed by the Supreme Court and judgement reserved by the Madras High Court in Star matter.

Tata Sky had challenged the tariff order and interconnection regulation while Airtel Digital TV had also challenged QoS regulations along with the tariff order and the interconnection regulation.

The two DTH operators had moved court on the ground that TRAI’s tariff order and regulation violates Article 19 (1) (G) of the Constitution, which allows citizens “to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”.

The main argument of the DTH operators is that the TRAI tariff order and regulation treat unequals as equals by prescribing the same monthly rentals and discounts for DTH operators and multi-system operators (MSOs).

DTH and cable TV are two different platforms and the former has to invest more in infrastructure and backend. The two are also against regulation of carriage fee and must carry clause.

Both Airtel and Tata Sky had also argued that the new regime will seriously impede their right to do mutually negotiated agreements.

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