Bombay High Court reserves verdict in NTO 2.0 case

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Bombay High Court on Tuesday evening reserved its verdict in the NTO 2.0 case after wrapping up hearings with the broadcaster’s arguments concluded in the final leg. The High Court on Tuesday heard the last part of arguments from the broadcasters rejoinder at 04:30 PM post which the hearing concluded with the judgement next to be delivered.

The court had earlier this year heard the broadcaster’s plea against NTO 2.0 and reserved order for the judgement to be pronounced. The judgement was expected to be pronounced in March which didn’t take place due to COVID-19.

TRAI then on 24th July came out with a directive mandating all broadcasters to publish their new Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) in line with NTO 2.0 by 10th August post which Zee Entertainment and TV18 Broadcast Limited moved back Bombay High Court.

The High Court adjourned the matter before the earlier bench which had heard the matter and reserved it for order with TRAI’s advocate stating that till that time they will not take any coercive action. Bombay HC was expected to deliver the judgement on 24th August but chose to rehear the broadcasters and TRAI again as it aimed to deliver a proper judgement instead of an interim one.

The broadcaster’s completed their argument by 7th September post which TRAI started its arguments. Senior Advocate Dhond and ASG Tushar Mehta argued the case in front of the court for TRAI which finished near 9th October. The broadcasters got the final chance to file a rejoinder which was wrapped up earlier this week on Tuesday. All eyes are now on the Bombay High Court’s judgement in the case.

While NTO 2.0 is yet to be fully implemented as of today all pay DTH platforms are NTO 2.0 compliant since the first week of March while atleast five pay broadcasters have published their Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) in line with NTO 2.0. All eyes are now on the Bombay High Court!

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