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Delhi HC reserves judgment on some DAS III cases; order likely on 7 Oct

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has reserved its judgment in two cases related to digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Rohini G and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal is expected to pronounce its judgment on the cases on 7 October.

The bench has also allowed Nasik Zilla Cable Operators’ Association to make a written argument in the matter within three days.

DAS

In the previous hearing, the bench had dismissed Rajasthan Cable Operators’ Foundation’s petition while adjourning the petitions of Radiant Digitek Networks and Nashik Zilla Cable Operator Federation until 4 October.

In the hearing on 26 September, the petitions involving IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) and Bhima Riddhi Digital Networks were untagged from this batch of DAS Phase III cases and were adjourned sine die as they pertain to the constitutional validity of certain provisionts of the Maharashtra Entertainment Tax.

While these two cases along with more than 30 cases scheduled for hearing on 5 October are related to DAS Phase III deadline extension, a lot of petitions also take up issues like DAS regulations and entertainment tax.

In its hearing on 8 September, the bench had re-notified the five cases to 26 September, as the petitioners in Rajasthan Cable Operators’ Foundation and Radiant Digitek were not represented.

On 7 September, the Delhi High Court had adjourned the hearing in the first batch of DAS Phase III cases until 5 October due to hearing the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA), 1974.

This batch of cases include Sree Devi Digital Systems, The Rohtak Cable Operator, AP MSOs Welfare Federation, Multi System Operator Welfare Association, Sai Big Star Welfare Association, Federation of Telangana MSO, DEN Manoranjan Satellite, Victory Digital, Sri Chowdeshwary Cable Network, Shyam Baba Cable Network, Panchajanya Media, Bharat Digital Cable Network, Nashik Zilla Cable Operators Association, Bhima Riddhi Digital Services and Yogesh Cable Networks.

These cases are being heard by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva. Some of the issues of the Nashik Zilla Cable Operators’ Association and Bhima Riddhi Digital Services’ petitions are being dealt by this bench.

Delhi High Court is the designated court for all cases related to DAS Phase III. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) had moved the Supreme Court against stay orders on DAS Phase III deadline granted by various courts in the country.

The SC had transferred all DAS Phase III-related cases to Delhi High Court and made it the designated court for all such cases.

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