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Digicable files FIR against Hathway officials in Mumbai

MUMBAI: In an ugly turn of events, Digicable has filed a first information report (FIR) against some Hathway officials and a distributor named Santosh Ankolekar for criminal conspiracy and causing wrongful loss to the company.

Digicable has alleged that Ankolekar, a distributor from Andheri, conspired with two Hathway officials to replace its set-top boxes (STBs). The Hathway STBs were installed and Ankolekar did not return Digicable’s boxes, thus causing financial loss to the company.

The MSO claimed that it had invested Rs 130 million in digitising the network by providing 80,000 STBs to cable operators on Ankolekar’s instructions.

The MSO also alleged that after removing Digicable STBs, Hathway officials, in cahoots with Ankolekar, took over its cable network in Andheri and started using it for providing Hathway services.

Digicable contended that the network belonged to the company since it had helped Ankolekar to upgrade the network by investing Rs 15 million. Ankolekar, said the MSO, was just an agent who was using the network on behalf of the company.

The illegal possession of cable network has caused a loss of Rs 150 million capex and Rs 5 million in monthly revenue to the MSO.

According to a company official who did not want his identity to be revealed Digicable had bought out Ankolekar’s broadband and cable TV business a few years back. Later, it signed Ankolekar as its distributor and funded the expansion of the network in Andheri east and west, the official added.

Digicable has urged the police to take action against Santosh Ankolekar and the two Hathway officials under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Hathway Cable & Datacom MD and CEO Jagdish Kumar was not available for comment till the filing of this report.

Digicable had earlier filed an FIR against Amit Nag in Kolkata for misappropriation of digital equipment. Nag had switched to Hathway after a long stint at Digicable.