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Ad cap case adjourned to 27 November due to unavailability of NBA counsel

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has once again adjourned the ad cap case to 27 November as News Broadcasters Association (NBA) senior counsel S Ganesh was unavailable.

Due to commitments in the Supreme Court, the senior counsel had sought accommodation from the high court.

The NBA also informed the court that it is in talks with the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) to resolve the matter.

The interim order restraining the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking coercive action against petitioners will continue. The ad cap matter has been adjourned many times since the matter reached the Delhi High Court in December 2013.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had adjourned the case to 23 September as the NBA had sought an adjournment stating that it was in talks with the MIB to resolve the matter.

The NBA is hoping that the MIB under Arun Jaitley will be considerate towards news broadcasters by relaxing the ad cap rule for news broadcasters.

In fact, Jaitley had in January indicated that he was not in favour of the 12-minute ad cap rule.

His predecessor Prakash Javadekar had even announced that the government is thinking of exempting free-to-air (FTA) channels from following the ad cap rule.

Apart from the NBA, a number of other regional broadcasters had challenged TRAI’s ad cap regulation including 9X Media, B4U, TV Vision, Sun TV Networks, E 24, Pioneer Channel, Sarthak Entertainment, Kalaignar TV, Eenadu Television, and Raj TV Networks.

While the HC had granted interim relief preventing TRAI from taking coercive action against the petitioners, it had also described the ceiling on advertisements as a ‘reasonable exercise’ while granting relief to Telugu broadcaster MAA TV.