The Telecom Disputes Settlements and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed the largest Direct-to-Home service provider, Dish TV to clear the pending dues to Star India in three equal instalments by the end of November. The TDSAT order noted that “Having considered the earlier order and the stand of the parties, we are of the view that in addition to the liability to clear the current invoice as indicated above, petitioner should liquidate the entire arrears to the extent admitted and already noted by end of November 2019 and for this petitioner shall pay the remaining outstanding dues towards the arrears in three equal instalments by end of September, October and November 2019.”
First Due to be Paid by September 10 for Dish TV
The next hearing on the matter under the same head will be next held on October 11. Also, TDSAT has said that Star India won’t issue a disconnection notice if Dish TV makes the payment first. TDSAT also made clear that this direction to Dish TV is only for the admitted dues and currently no decision has been made regarding the dues that are ultimately payable or the interest on such dues applied. The senior counsel of Dish TV on the instructions remarked that the current dues for the month of July should be pay by September 10, 2019. The counsel has also signed an undertaking that the Rs 40 crore shall be paid up by this date by the DTH provider. According to this place, the balance towards arrears would be Rs 56.65 crore after October 31.
Dish TV also submitted a chart detailing the payments that it has made till September 3 to Star India. The DTH service provider also presented a schedule for the payments that it would be making next in the coming days till October 31, 2019. It is also worth noting that the current dues for the month of June have been paid up by Dish TV. The amount which was indicated towards arrears as part of this payment was Rs 65 crore, and Dish TV has also paid up this amount by August 30.
Star India Argues Against Pushing Payment Deadline
While counsel of Dish TV pleaded that the operator be allowed to clear the dues by September 10, 2019, the Star India counsel argued that since there was a delay in submitting the subscribers' reports, the amount became payable on August 27, within the 15 days of receipt of the invoice by the DTH operator. Therefore, according to the Star India counsel, the DTH operator has defaulted in the payments for the July month as per the regulations.
However, TDSAT noted “For the time being, petitioner is permitted to follow the earlier practice only for a limited period as indicated above. Hence, he must pay the current invoices in similar fashion by 10th of each succeeding month.” As per the tribunal, currently, the primary concern is to ensure that the arrears paid by the DTH operator are liquidated without any delay hence, the petitioner is allowed to follow the new payment timeline.