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Delhi HC dismisses 8 DAS III extension cases, directs petitioners to go digital in 3 weeks

NEW DELHI: A single bench of Delhi High Court has dismissed eight cases dealing with the time extension for implementing digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III, the deadline for which had expired on 31 December 2015.

The bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva has also directed the petitioners to switchover to digital within three weeks.

The petitioners have been instructed to run a scroll on their networks about the digital switchover.

The petitions of Victory Digital, Sri Chowdeshwary Cable Network, Yogesh Cable Networks, Amma TV, Athulay Infomedia, Panchajanya Media, and Sai Cable TV Network, Sunil Kumar Singh have been dismissed.

This means that the stay granted by various high courts will no longer apply as Delhi High Court is the designated court for all cases related to DAS Phase III. The order comes as the deadline for DAS Phase IV is ending on 31 December.

The bench said that these cases are infructuous as the time sought for extension has already been given and the extension is well past those dates.

Four cases that of Kollam Cables, Kollam Internet Cable Distribution, Riddhi Vision, and Bhima Ridhi Digital Services have been posted for 9 November as the counsels for petitioners were not ready, while two cases have been de-linked from the matter Nashik Zilla Cable Operators Association and Bharat Digital Cable Network.

A total of 14 DAS Phase III extension-related cases before the bench were Sai Cable TV Network, Victory Digital, Sunil Kumar Singh, Sri Chowdeshwary Cable Network, Panchajanya Media, Bharat Digital Cable Network, Nashik Zilla Cable Operators Association, Bhima Ridhi Digital Services, Yogesh Cable Networks, Riddhi Vision, Amma TV, Kollam Cables, Kollam Internet Cable Distribution and Athulay Infomedia.

Meanwhile, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Rohini G and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has posted the Nasik Zilla Cable Operators’ Association and Radiant Digitek Networks’ cases, in which orders were earlier reserved, to 17 November, as the bench wanted some clarification for the orders to be placed on record for those two matters.

Other cases challenging the DAS notification of 2011 have been posted for 23 November. The bench has given parties who have appeared before it a chance to file counters.

Earlier, Delhi High Court had segregated the cases between those that sought extension of time from the ones challenging the 2011 notification for DAS implementation. The extension cases were being dealt by Justice Sachdeva, while the other cases are being heard by the division bench.

The high courts in various parts of the country had granted stay on DAS Phase III deadline. The stay orders had stalled the implementation of DAS Phase III. This prompted the MIB to move the Supreme Court to get all the cases transferred to either apex court or Delhi High Court. The SC made Delhi High Court as the designated court for all cases related to DAS Phase III.

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