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Star RIO case: TDSAT to hear Hathway’s plea for parity on 30 Oct

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has put up multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable & Datacom’s application on parity for hearing on 30 October.

The MSO had filed an application insisting that the RIO-based agreements for Star India channels must apply to all MSOs from a common date.

It suggested that all MSOs including DEN Networks and Siti Cable must put Star channels on RIO from 1 November in order to ensure parity.

The application was filed on the basis of the petition that was disposed of by the tribunal on 25 September. As per the order passed by the tribunal, Hathway was directed to put Star India channels on RIO with effect from 1 October.

However, the tribunal said that it will hear DEN Networks and Siti Cable before passing any order as it may affect their interests. It also left open for other MSOs to join the proceeding as one of the parties in this application.

Star India counsel Rakesh Dwivedi objected to the very maintainability of the application. The tribunal said it is keeping open the issue of maintainability of the application.

Further, the tribunal impleaded DEN and Siti Cable as the opposite party members 2 and 3 to the application on an oral request made by Hathway counsel Jayant K Mehta. The tribunal has also issued notices to the newly added opposite parties.

The newly added opposite parties may file their responses within one week from the date of receipt of the notice. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within one week from the date of receipt of a copy of the response.

Meanwhile, the tribunal had adjourned the hearing in IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) versus Star India case till 14 October.

IMCL had moved TDSAT contending that it must be allowed to negotiate with Star India, that it must be offered lowest rates in the bouquet by Star and prevent Star from disconnecting signals.