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Pantel promises to settle claims of broadcasters in four weeks

MUMBAI: Pantel Technologies, which has acquired the direct to home (DTH) business of Reliance Communications, has told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that it will settle the claims of all the broadcasters within four weeks.

Reliance Big TV owes more than Rs 100 crore to broadcasters like Star India, ZEEL, Sony Pictures Networks India, TV18, Viacom18, Sun TV, and Discovery Communications India.

“We have been assured on behalf of respondent no. 3 that it will make sincere effort to settle the claims of all the petitioners at the earliest and in total it may require about four weeks to do so,” the TDSAT noted.

The tribunal further stated that the accommodation has been granted to Pantel and other non-official respondents on the condition that they will make sincere efforts to settle the claims of the broadcasters, particularly those of Star India and ZEEL at the earliest.

The tribunal had also directed Star India not to disconnect signals to the DTH operator till the next date on the condition that a further amount of Rs. 50 lakh will be paid by Pantel 2 February.

Earlier, the tribunal had stayed the disconnection notice by Star India on the condition that an amount of Rs. 3 crore will be paid on account by Pantel before the next date 30 January.

Pantel had paid the 50% amount within one week while the company’s counsel handed over the cheque for the remaining Rs 1.5 crore before the tribunal. The delay in paying the balance Rs 1.5 crore on time was condoned by the tribunal.

ABP News Network, which has also impleaded in the matter, submitted that claim for a small amount of Rs. 14 lakh approximately. The Pantel counsel assured that this claim will be settled as per mutual satisfaction within a week or two.

It also assured of settling Discovery Communications India’s claim of Rs 7.23 crore in the same time frame. The tribunal directed Pantel to settle the dues of Cinema 24×7 also within a week or two.