MIB fails to comply with TDSAT direction on Bloomberg Quint

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has failed to comply with the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) direction to dispose of Bloomberg Quint‘s pending name change application within one week’s time.

MIB refuses to comply with TDSAT direction on Bloomberg Quint

The Ministry has in its submission to the Tribunal said that the applications have not been disposed of in view of the new development taking place due to a show-cause notice dated 6.12.2019. The Ministry has given one week’s time to the broadcaster to respond to the notice.

The Tribunal was left surprised at the development taking place on the day it was required to take a final decision in terms of this Tribunal’s order. It noted that Horizon would be open to file a reply to the show-cause notice and if so advised even while the matter is pending before this Tribunal.

TDSAT Chairperson Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shiva Kirti Singh ruling on the Ministry’s failure to comply with Tribunal’s direction noted

“Whether the attempt is to delay the decision for an indeterminate period or it is bonafide will require consideration because the order of the Tribunal to dispose of the applications has not been complied with. Non-compliance, if found without good reasons, may entail a penalty”.

The court made it clear that the Ministry was under obligation to decide pending applications within a reasonable time. It noted that it had not considered the merits of the petitioner’s case so far but if no decision is taken soon, but it may soon have to do.

According to a Money Control report, after failing to secure a business broadcast license due to security and other clearances, Quint had bought a shell company – Horizon Satellite Services which holds a news broadcasting license. The plan was to change its name, reboot Horizon and the board of directors followed by Bloomberg Quint’s launch.

The broadcaster acquired Horizon’s ‘Y TV’ license 2 years back but the name change application was not approved. It finally moved TDSAT earlier this year in April to expedite its application. The matter is now set to be heard next week on merits.

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