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Allahabad HC grants interim relief to UP cable TV ops from DAS Phase III deadline

MUMBAI: The Allahabad High Court has granted interim relief to multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) in Uttar Pradesh in view of the various HC orders and the submission made by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to the Punjab and Haryana HC.

Hence, the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III deadline extension relief granted by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Courts will be applicable to UP as well.

The Allahabad Cable TV Operator Welfare Society had filed a petition for staying the MIB’s 11 September 2014 notification whereby the central government had extended the date of installation of STBs for DAS Phases III and IV to 31 December 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The society’s petitioner RK Ojha submitted that the Bombay High Court, Karnataka High Court, Sikkim High Court, Andhra Pradesh High Court, and Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted relief to the cable TV operators.

He also referred to the letter dated 12 January 2016 from the under secretary to the government of India to the assistant secretary of Punjab and Haryana HC mentioning the order dated 4 January 2016 passed by the Bombay HC and that the stay granted by the various HCs would be valid across the country.

This being the legal position conveyed by the MIB, it is not necessary to pass an interim order in favour of the petition, the HC said.

Placing the petition as fresh on 28 January, it granted one week’s time to Additional Solicitor General of India Gyan Prakash and Shambhu Chopra appearing for respondent nos. 2 and 4 to seek instructions in the matter.