Prominent Direct-to-the-Home (DTH) service provider Dish TV has been directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlements and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to pay up Star India for its Rs 55 crore pending dues, lest it should face disconnection. TDSAT has set the deadline for payment to Star India as July 27 for Dish TV. Earlier, on July 3, Star India had issued a disconnection notice to Dish TV. The broadcaster had also submitted a recovery petition in TDSAT which briefly went over the financial arrangements between the two companies which had led to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed on December 12, 2018.
TDSAT Issues Order to Dish TV for Paying Up Dues
In response to the petition filed by Star India in TDSAT, Dish TV also filed another petition against it. Following this, TDSAT gave the order to Star India to not go through with the disconnection in case Dish TV pays up Rs 55 crore by the July 27 deadline and also presents the proof of it by the next date of hearing, which has been scheduled on July 29, 2019.
The tribunal said, “Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that if the petitioner pays Rs. 55 crore to the respondent by July 27, 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.”
In its recovery petition to the TDSAT, Star India issued a chart to the tribunal listing Dish TV’s liabilities to the broadcaster. Out of the total liability of Rs 554 crore, Dish TV has paid Rs 553 crore which leaves an outstanding balance of Rs 83,70,895 on July 22 in respect of billing till January 2019. In this regard, the tribunal also noted that the DTH service provider has been billed further for an amount of Rs 284 crore for the period of February to May 2019 which includes the pending amount of Rs 83,70,895. Star India has also stated that it has not factored in the interest component of this amount. This news was reported by Television Post.
TDSAT Says Issue is Over the Method of Payment
Dish TV, in its response, has said that it will liquidate the arrears, which it has revealed in paragraph 11 of the petition. The DTH service provider has said that it will pay up Rs 55 crore by the end of July and further it will pay up Rs 100 crore in the month of August. The DTH company will also pay the same Rs 100 crore amount in the month of September as well. The TDSAT order on the matter said, “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.”
TDSAT stated that the dispute is not over the numbers, which can be sorted out but the issue is the way in which the DTH service provider proposes to pay the current outstanding dues every month starting June 2019, which might become due in another two weeks.