TDSAT stays Star India disconnection notice against Dish TV

New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Dispute Tribunal (TDSAT) on Tuesday granted interim protection to Dish TV against the disconnection notice issued to it by Star India.

Dish TV had filed the broadcasting petition against a disconnection notice issued by Star India on 3rd July 2019. The disconnection notice discloses a brief history of the financial arrangements between the parties which led to a settlement MOU dated 12.12.2018. A chart made by Star India and put in front of the tribunal, it appeared that the DTH operator had a liability of approx Rs 554 crores out of which Dish TV paid approx Rs 553 crores leaving a balance outstanding of Rs. 83,70,895.00 on 22.7.2019 in respect of billing till January 2019.

Dish TV had been filled a further amount of approx Rs 284 crores for the month of February to May 2019 period, which includes the balance outstanding of Rs 83,70,895.00. Star India has not included the interest component. Dish TV proposed to liquidate the arrears by disclosing in paragraph 11 of the petition that it shall pay Rs. 55 crores by or before 31.7.2019 and shall also pay Rs 100 crores in the month of August 2019 and the same amount of Rs. 100 crores in the month of September 2019.

The tribunal noted, “At the present stage, the dispute is not over figures which may be sorted out if there is a minor discrepancy but over the way, petitioner proposes to pay the current outstanding dues every month starting from the month of June 2019 which may become due in another fortnight.

Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that if the petitioner pays Rs. 55 crores to the respondent by 27th July 2019 and produces proof of such payment by the next date, without prejudice to the claims of the parties, impugned notice shall not be given effect to until the next date. As it is, we have been given to understand that the notice shall take effect on 29.7.2019.

Whether further protection needs to be given to the petitioner or not, will depend upon its commitment to take care of the current outstanding dues of every month which should be made clear by the next date.”

Dish TV had on Monday moved TDSAT against the disconnection notice. Star India in its response filed a counter case of recovery in the TDSAT. The tribunal in view of the order in Dish TV vs Star India case also listed Star India’s recovery case under the same head along with that petition on 29.7.2019. Emails sent to Dish TV and Star India on the matter asking for their comments went unanswered at the time of going to press.

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