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TDSAT gives interim relief to Hathway against disconnection notice by Media Pro

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has issued an interim order directing Hathway Cable & Datacom to pay Rs 160 million as outstanding dues to Media Pro Enterprise India by 28 February.

The tribunal has also directed Media Pro not to give effect to the disconnection notice it issued against Hathway.

The TDSAT has directed both the parties to carry out a reconciliation of accounts before 7 March. Apart from the payment, Hathway will also have to submit the monthly subscriber line report to the respondent latest by 15 March.

While urging both parties to expedite the reconciliation of accounts, the tribunal said that Hathway will have to make the balance payment on the basis of the reconciliation of accounts either in one or two instalments by 31 March.

The interim order came on a petition filed by Hathway seeking interim relief against Media Pro’s outstanding due demands. Hathway had filed eight separate petitions with the TDSAT, seeking relief from disconnection notices issued by Media Pro for non-payment of dues.

Media Pro counsel Prathiba M Singh had contended that Hathway owed Rs 49 crore (Rs 490 million) to the content aggregator out of which around Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) was disputed and the remaining Rs 45 crore (Rs 450 million) was the admitted dues of the MSO.

However, Hathway counsel Arun Kathpalia had countered Singh’s argument by asserting that the MSO owed only Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) to the content aggregator.

The tribunal also stated that the payment of the dues is in addition to the monthly subscription fee payable by Hathway and the payment of the monthly subscription fee for the month of February will have to be made in time.

The tribunal put up the matter for hearing on 4 April for getting the pleadings completed and, if the parties agree, to frame the issues required for determining the case.

It also asked the two parties to file their replies, if any, within three weeks from the date of service of notice. Rejoinders, if any, can be filed within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the reply.