20 Oct 2017
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TDSAT impleads ZEEL and Zee Media in parity case filed by Tamil MSOs

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has impleaded Zee Entertainment and Zee Media Corporation Ltd as respondents in the parity issue between Taj Television and multi-system operators (MSOs) Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication and Kal Cables.

Taj counsel Tejveer Singh Bhatia stated that even while claiming parity petitioners, MSOs Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication and Kal Cables have not presented the full picture of the arrangement under which they are receiving the signals of Zee TV for re-transmission.

Bhatia elaborated that apart from the interconnection agreement, the MSOs had carriage agreements/arrangements with the broadcasters directly and they are regularly receiving payments of carriage /placement fee.

According to Bhatia, the aforesaid fact, which is highly relevant to the issues raised in the petition, is not disclosed in the petition.

The tribunal directed Bhatia to make this statement on affidavit and give details of carriage fees paid to the petitioners.

At this stage, Bhatia stated that the carriage fee agreements are between the petitioners and the broadcaster directly and that it would facilitate the matter if the broadcasters are also formally brought on record in this proceeding.

Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication counsel Navin Chawla submitted that he does not want the broadcasters to be impleaded as no relief is claimed against the broadcasters.

The tribunal, however, found Bhatia’s request to be reasonable and hence impleaded the two broadcasters in these two petitions as respondents nos. 2 and 3.

Bhatia himself accepted the notice on behalf of these two respondents.

The tribunal directed the affidavit to be filed by 14 March. The matter has been put up under the same head on 22 March.

Any material to substantiate the statements made in the affidavit may be shown to the tribunal in a sealed cover with due notice to the petitioner, the tribunal said.