The Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) last week hearing Kamyab Television’s plea for reconnection of signals noted that it appeared that Kamyab TV was not interested in paying the dues.
Kamyab TV’s counsel asked for further time for submitting a reasonable time schedule for payment of its admitted dues. TDSAT had earlier for the same purpose granted time on 13 May and two further dates. The counsel for the Union of India opposed the broadcaster’s plea for grant of further time for the said purpose. Kamyab TV in the capacity of a defaulter is always at liberty to pay its dues to the Union of India without any time schedule or orders of the tribunal.
The tribunal noted that if the broadcaster is so interested then it may make the payment and approach the Tribunal for adequate reliefs. The tribunal further noted “At the present stage, it appears that Kamyab TV is not interested in paying the dues, hence, on the next date, we shall consider whether to award a decree on the basis of admission. “
Kamyab Television had in March 2019 moved TDSAT for reconnection of its signals. The space allotted to the broadcaster on INSAT-4A was de-activated back in February 2017 i.e. about two years back for dues of approx. Rs. 5.00 crores as alleged by Antrix and Rs. 3.98 crores as claimed by the broadcaster. As the broadcaster had expressed its desire to pay the lawful dues albeit, in installments, the application was admitted by the tribunal.
Kamyab Television initially offered to pay part of the admitted dues and probably offer a guarantee for the balance. Later on, it moved a miscellaneous application to direct Antrix to issue a No Objection Certificate so that it may be able to avail the Space Segment Service Agreement from the authorized service provider.
Antrix in its reply had said that it cannot issue a No Objection Certificate unless the broadcasters pay the entire dues. Kamyab Television in its response said that presently only Rs. 1 crore can be arranged and paid to Antrix for the urgent issue of No Objection Certificate and when it resumes its business and starts earning, it will make all endeavor to pay the balance of the admitted amount of Rs. 3.98 crores approximately within a reasonable time.
Since the offer of an upfront payment of Rs. 1 crore for the No Objection Certificate was not good enough unless it provided a specific time schedule for the payment of the entire admitted dues of Rs. 3.98 crores approximately only the tribunal has rejected it back then.