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TDSAT allows Sun to disconnect signals to Hyderabad MSO

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed Sun Distribution Services to disconnect signals to Hyderabad-based multi-system operator (MSO) Lifestyle Communication for default of payment.

However, the tribunal has also made it clear that Sun must restore the supply of its signal as soon as the MSO makes the payment of the last instalment and clears the dues of licence fees for the current months.

As per the tribunal’s order passed on 6 May, the MSO was directed to make an on-account payment of Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) towards arrears for the analogue Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area for the period of April 2014 to March 2015.

The payment was to be made in six equal monthly instalments along with an interest @14 per cent per annum. The interest will be computed from the dates the payments became due until the dates of the actual payment. The MSO was also directed to pay monthly subscription fee at the rate of Rs 700,000 per month for the same area.

Sun had intended to disconnect the supply of its signals to the MSO, but the tribunal restrained it from doing so subject to the payment made in terms of the interim order.

The MSO, however, failed to adhere to the payment schedule and the tribunal again on 4 September gave directions extending the date by which the respondent could pay the petitioner. Despite extension of time, the MSO defaulted on the last instalment payable by 31 October.

According to Sun counsel Abhishek Malhotra, the MSO also defaulted on making payment of the monthly licence fees, and the licence fees for the months of October and November 2015 remained unpaid.

Lifestyle’s counsel Diggaj Pathak, however, contended that the payment for the month of November could not be said to have fallen due because the pay by date was yet to come.

The matter has been put up before the assistant registrar on the date already fixed.