The Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Wednesday directed Tata Sky to file its reply to the Kashish News petition in TDSAT within 3 weeks, as prayed by Tata Sky. The service provider had last Sunday disconnected the broadcasters channel from its platform. Kashish News had been available on the service provider’s platform for a long time.
Submissions made in front of the court reveal that the channel was discontinued from Tata Sky’s platform as the broadcaster had not yet accepted to sign the RIO agreement with Tata Sky as required under the new Interconnect Regulations,2017. As a result, the distribution of the news channel was disconnected on 29.06.2019.
Counsel for Kashish News argued that the target area for the petitioner’s news channels should confine to Bihar and Jharkhand then only it can survive otherwise it may lose on account of lack of Pan India penetration. Tata Sky’s counsel submitted that on a DTH platform it has no option but to treat the target area even in respect of Kashish Developer’s channels as a Pan India channel. Given the legal issues involved which have to be resolved the court gave Tata Sky time to respond. After the implementation of the new Tariff order, this case is the first of its kind filed in front of the tribunal.
The broadcaster’s prayer for interim relief will be heard on the next date. In the meantime, it will be open for the broadcaster to approach Tata Sky with the appropriate application and necessary details and the same shall be considered by Tata Sky in accordance with the law. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for the last week of July.
The channel is the first media venture of Kashish Developers Pvt Ltd, owned by Mr. Sunil Chaudhary. Kashish News was also available in the basic FTA package of Tata Sky which contains 100 channels. Following its disconnection, Sadhna News had taken its place in the basic FTA package.
On accessing older versions of documents uploaded on the DTH operator’s website, it has come to light that the channel was classified as a Hindi News channel by the service provider prior to its disconnection. Other channels which have specific target areas in the Hindi belt have been classified as the Hindi Regional channels.