New Delhi: Greycells18 Media has demanded an amount of Rs. 34,14,634.17 towards the outstanding subscription fee from Independent TV along with 24 per cent penal interest until the payment of its dues. Greycells18 Media Ltd is Network18s Edu tech arm that runs 24*7 educational channel Topper TV. Network18s subsidiary India cast has separately sued Independent TV yesterday for recovery. The tribunal’s order on the same is awaited.
The Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Monday heard the broadcasting petition for settlement of issues. Independent TV’s counsel submitted a list of proposed issues which was placed on the record. The court after hearing the pleadings framed arising issues for effective and final disposal of the petition.
- Whether the invoices raised on behalf of the Petitioner are not in consonance with the terms of the Interconnect Agreement dated 29.10.2015 (Amendment Agreement) dated 28.8.2017, as is alleged by the Respondent if so its effect?
- Whether the present Broadcasting Petition is pre-mature for want of effort on the part of the petitioner to reconcile the account as was agreed by the parties in the agreement, as is alleged by the Respondent, if so, its effect?
- Whether the Petitioner is entitled to recover from the Respondent an amount of Rs. 34,14,634.17 towards the outstanding subscription fee?
- Whether the petitioner is also entitled to claim the damages from the respondent for committing the default in payment of subscription fee?
- Whether the Petitioner is also entitled to the penal interest @ 24% till the date of realisation of the claimed amount?
Directing the broadcaster to file its evidence within a month the court noted that the parties were free to make efforts for reconciliation of their accounts.
Greycells18 Media had in November 2018 moved TDSAT against Reliance Big TV (now Independent TV) for recovery. Independent TV had initially wanted to settle the dispute first through meetings with the appropriate authority of the broadcaster. Both the parties failed to settle the matter amicably leading to the court framing issues for settlement.
The tribunal in an earlier hearing had noted “At this stage, we are not in a position to accept the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner that its claim for a particular amount of money is decreed against the respondent because of lacuna/shortcoming in defense or for non-production of subscribers’ reports which are said to be the basis of the invoices raised by the petitioner. These aspects relate to the merits of the case and will have to be considered during the final hearing of the petition.”