Direct to Home (DTH) Service provider Independent TV has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. Its consumers have been facing disruption from a long time and have been cut off from the services. Also, on the other hand, Independent TV is constantly assuring the subscribers of resumption of services soon and has even assured a refund for the subscribers. But, according to the latest news on the matter, Independent TV has not paid its dues to the satellite company, Antrix Corporation and has neither furnished the bank guarantees for the same. To recall, the reason why Independent TV faced disconnection in the first instance was that the signal was disrupted by Antrix because of non-payment of dues.
TDSAT Directs Independent TV to Clear Dues to Antrix
The Telecom Disputes Settlements and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had sent out a direction to Independent TV which told the DTH service provider to pay up to Rs 12 crore to Antrix Corporation for reconnection of signal so that its services could be resumed. As per TDSAT, Independent TV had two options to go for – firstly to pay Rs 5.83 crore and furnish bank guarantees worth Rs 6 crore or secondly to simply furnish guarantees worth Rs 12 crore. However, as it appears, Independent TV has done none of the above, and as a result, its signal remains disrupted. TDSAT had remarked in its order, “As soon as the petitioner complies with this part and furnishes the bank guarantee or makes the payment, of respondent no. 1 shall reconnect the signals.”
In a hearing held on Thursday, TDSAT said that the DTH service provider has not yet cleared the dues to Antrix. Because of this, the signals for Independent TV haven’t been resumed by the satellite company. Further, the TDSAT has directed Independent TV to clear dues at the earliest. TDSAT’s order on Thursday said, “Since the petitioner has not been able to make the required payments or furnishing the bank guarantee, as indicated in the last order passed on 2.7.2019, the resumption of supply of signals has not happened. Petitioner should make the payments at the earliest.” The next hearing on the matter will happen on September 12, 2019.
Independent TV Signal Disrupted Since June 12
To recall, Independent TV faced disruption from Antrix on June 12 after the corporation encashed the withstanding bank guarantees submitted by Independent TV amounting to Rs 15 crore. It is also worth noting that Antrix Corporation is the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO’s) commercial arm. Following the disruption in the signal, Independent TV had reached out to TDSAT and petitioned the satellite company. It had sought to enter into a long term agreement with Antrix as it had been granted the license by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), and this license will remain valid till December 31, 2019.