Independent TV Subscribers Face Disruption as Company Fails to Pay Dues

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Amidst all the more prominent DTH operators which include names likes Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV and more, Independent TV is another player in the field. Albeit the DTH provider does not have a massive subscriber base, it still boasts of a sizeable number of customers in a few states. However, in a new development, it has come to notice that Independent TV has shut down its operations abruptly, thus leaving its subscribers in a sticky situation. Not only subscribers but also distributors in Uttar Pradesh have also been left in a hunch and have no idea what to do now. As per the website of the DTH operator, this has happened because the company was not able to clear its dues to the satellite service provider company.

Independent TV Defaults on Payments to Antrix Corporation

The message on the official website of Independent TV reads “Dear customers, our services are suspended on account of satellite signal disconnection. Same are expected to resume only after June 22nd, 2019. Inconvenience is regretted.” The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had ordered Independent TV to clear its dues to Antrix Corporation by June 12, and it was warned of disconnection in case it failed to do so. However, Independent TV did not adhere to the June 12 deadline to clear the payment and had to face the consequences. Notably, Independent TV had to pay Rs 9 crore to Antrix or Rs 15 crore in the form of bank guarantees. The matter is now further scheduled for hearing on July 2.

According to the reports of local media, the company officials and owners have switched off their phones and are not receiving any calls or answering any questions. On the other hand, the super distributor and the distributors of the company are saying that Independent had accumulated advances and commissions north of Rs 2 crore from these dealers. This news was reported by Indian Television.

Independent TV Parent Company Caught in Bike Bot Scam

It is also worth noting that the DTH service provider is actually the property of Garvit Innovative Promotors Ltd. The parent company has recently been in the news highlights for a high-level multi-crore ‘Bike Bot scam’. As per some of the reports on the incident, the distributors and are now thinking about approaching the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Ministry of Corporate Affairs against the company and its directors including Sachin Bhati.

Independent TV was a small company which had launched operations in 2018 only. The company wasn’t spread across India and was only limited to the Uttar Pradesh region. In the Meerut and Saharanpur division only, it had 26 distributors and a total of 90,000 subscribers. Now it would be interesting to see whether or not Independent TV will be able to pay up the dues to bring back connectivity for its subscribers.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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