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MCOF moves Bombay HC on billing, entertainment tax and carriage fee issues

MUMBAI: After a lull, the legal fight over billing and entertainment has resumed. The Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against billing, payment of entertainment tax and non-sharing of carriage revenue by the multi-system operators (MSOs).

mcofThe MCOF petition has challenged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) digital addressable system (DAS) regulation that allows the MSOs to bill the customers.

Claiming ownership of customers, MCOF has contended that the last mile operators (LMOs) must have the right to bill the end customers.

The federation also challenged the Maharashtra government ordinance that puts the onus of paying entertainment tax on the MSOs. It said that the government must continue with the existing arrangement wherein the LMOs collect and pay the entertainment tax.

It must be noted that MCOF had earlier filed two petitions challenging the state government’s GRs on entertainment tax.

The third and the most intriguing issue is that of carriage fee. The federation has argued in its petition that the MSOs must part with some portion of the carriage fee with the LMOs just as there is a revenue share in the subscription fee.

The petitioner has made the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), TRAI, the Maharashtra government and MSOs respondents in the case.

The court has already issued notices to the respondents to file their replies in the matter, informed MCOF president Arvind Prabhoo.

However, the HC has not given any date of hearing, he added.