Tata Sky and Trai Legal Battle Adjourned Till April 4 by Delhi HC, Petitions to Be Listed Earlier Now

The legal battle against the new Trai framework has been going on for months now with the broadcasters standing against the sector regulator

Highlights
  • The matter has been adjourned to April 4, 2019, now and there will be a final hearing
  • Bharti Telemedia, Sun Direct, and Discovery Communications India are also the petitioners in the matter

The legal battle between the popular DTH service provider, Tata Sky and the sector regulator Trai has been ensuing since the introduction of the new tariff regime. However, in the latest development, the Delhi High Court has adjourned the matter only to be continued on April 4, 2019. Presently, Discovery Communications which is also party to the legal battle is presenting its argument. It is worth noting that besides Tata Sky, Bharti Telemedia, Sun Direct, and Discovery Communications India are also the petitioners in the matter, and Dish TV and All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) are the interveners.

Trai Files Additional Affidavit

The bench consisting of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao is hearing the matter from the side of appellants against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and its new pricing framework.

Tata Sky had filed an application on the previous hearing held on March 11, seeking permission to take on record the additional affidavit. It is worth noting that the affidavit was filed on February 6 in pursuance to the order passed by the bench on February 13. However, the legal counsel of Trai, Rakesh Dwivedi had addressed the bench on the issue saying that the additional affidavit was filed without the explicit permission from the court and thus expressed regret at the same.

The additional affidavit was granted an affirmative and the application for taking on record the additional affidavit filed by the TRAI and explaining the circumstances which compelled it to issue the press release on February 12 was allowed. To recall, on February 12, Trai had extended the deadline to select the TV channels till March 31.

Petitioners to Prepare their Rejoinders

The legal counsel of Discovery Communications India, Gopal Jain had brought on record a memo from Discovery’s side which pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the statements which were written down on the affidavit. The bench had remarked that it would make a note of the same and added that the issue would be taken up during the final hearing.

Since the additional affidavit was filed by Trai and was taken on record, the bench also gave liberty to the petitioners to file their replies to the same. Post this development; the matters were then listed for the final hearing. The bench also stated that with the change in roster, it would assemble on Fridays for hearing these matters. However, looking at the facts that many parties will listen to the issue and the importance of the same, it directed the office to list these petitions on Thursdays and Fridays at 2:15 PM. Hence, the writ petitions will now be listed on March 28 and 29, 2019 at 2:15 PM as directed by the Delhi High Court bench.

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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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