Dish TV India Limited (DTIL) on Tuesday withdrew its petition against Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) in the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging certain clauses in terms and conditions of pre-NTO RIO as published by the broadcaster, on the basis of non – discrimination.
The service provider had challenged the RIO back in February 2018. Back then Dish TV was having a subsisting RIO agreement which was entered into on 1.12.2017. This was entered into without prejudice to their rights to challenge the clauses of RIO terms as communicated to SPN India vide letter dated 8.11.2017.
The court noted “It is not in dispute that the parties have entered into a fresh agreement under the new regime on account of Regulations of 2017.
In view of such developments, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that challenge by the DTH operator to the terms of earlier RIO of the broadcaster has become academic and, therefore, the petition may be permitted to be withdrawn with liberty to the petitioner that if an occasion arises, it will be free to challenge the terms of new RIO of the respondents.”
The court clarified that it goes without saying that if the DTH operator has any grievance in future, it will be at liberty to raise its claim or seek relief through an appropriate proceeding in accordance with the law.
Dish TV vs SPN India
While all DTH operators had sung in unison against the dual pricing of channels on pay and free platforms and continue to do so, Dish TV had gone one step ahead and refused to pay the dues for channels having dual pricing and challenged it in TDSAT.
d2h had in 2017 demanded reduction in the total liability of the petitioner on account of Sony Pal, one of the channels included in the bouquet for which a composite amount was payable under the agreement. d2h claimed Sony Pal had been made available by SPN India free of charge to Doordarshan and, therefore, on the basis of provisions in the relevant regulation, SPN India is under legal obligation not to discriminate and to provide this channel free of cost to the petitioner as well. The case lays dormant in the tribunal with the petitioner seeming to have dumped it.
Dish TVs case also didn’t reach any conclusion, marred by the delay in proceedings caused by both the parties.