Cable operator Siti Network has failed to conclude its settlement talks with Star India as per the order of the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
In April 2019, Star India had moved TDSAT against Siti Network for recovery of its pending dues. In the first hearing the court was informed that there was a possibility of settlement in the matter. Both sides accordingly prayed for an adjournment for two weeks.
Two weeks later the two parties submitted that they were still engaged in settlement talks and were granted another two weeks to settle the matter. The next hearing had similar submissions with the court adjourning the hearing by a month. Earlier this month both the parties advanced their submissions. While settlement talks were still on Siti Network pushed for an expedited settlement or else for a decision based on merits.
On Monday, the tribunal admitted the petitioner for hearing. The tribunal noted that the last four orders indicate that the adjournments were granted because the parties were trying to settle the matter. Star India informed the court that Siti Network’s payment plans are not acceptable and therefore settlement could not be arrived at.
Noticing the stand of Star India the court took on record that the talks for settlement have failed for the present. Star India submitted that the arrears being claimed through this petition relate to the earlier agreement period and since February 2019, the parties are being governed by a new agreement and this petition does not raise any dispute under the new agreement.
The court granted Siti Network three weeks to file its reply. The court posted the matter under the head “for directions” for consideration of interim relief if any.
The failure of talks for settlement comes on the heel of TDSAT staying Star India’s disconnection notice to Dish TV for its failure to pay its dues. Siti’s sister company Dish TV is also owing to Star India a huge amount of money.