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DAS Phase III stay won’t stretch beyond two months: Chhattisgarh HC

MUMBAI: The High Court of  Chhattisgarh has said that the two-month stay on the implementation of digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III will not be extended further.

The single-member bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra has said that the Union government will be at a liberty to proceed in accordance with law following the expiry of the two-month period.

The HC had allowed two-month time to multi-system operators (MSOs) to seed set-top boxes (STBs) while directing the Union government not to take coercive action.

The petitioner Gentle Entertainment had moved the court contending that manufacturers were unable to provide STBs due to shortage of components in the international market.

Gentle Entertainment counsel BP Sharma highlighted that the issue of shortage of STBs was brought to the notice of I&B secretary in the task force meeting on 30 December.

He also argued that if STBs were not available, the MSOs could not be blamed and, at the same time, viewers should not suffer.

Based on the stay granted by other HCs, Sharma had sought three months’ time to seed STBs.

The Union and state government counsels, however, opposed any extension of the deadline contending that the MSOs were aware of the deadline much in advance.

Meanwhile, concerned with the growing number of cases seeking extension in various HCs, the MIB is planning to move the Supreme Court. Earlier, I&B secretary Sunil Arora had told TelevisionPost.com that the MIB would file the petition in the apex court to club the orders from different high courts. As in all such cases, the MIB gets a feedback from the Law Ministry before it takes the legal route.

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