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TDSAT asks Vishal Cable to pay and Star to restore signals

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Vishal Cable Network to clear its dues and Star India to restore the supply of its signals to the multi-system operator (MSO).

Vishal Cable has to make an on-account payment of Rs 1.5 million to the broadcaster in three equal fortnightly instalments.

The first instalment of Rs 500,000 should be paid on 9 June and another sum of Rs 500,000 by 24 June and the third instalment of the same amount by 9 July.

The payment, as directed, shall be on account and without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties.

The tribunal also directed the MSO to make payments of the monthly subscription fees based on invoices raised by the broadcaster during the pendency of this petition.

In case of default in payment of the instalments and/or monthly subscription fees as per the invoices of the respondent, it will be open to the broadcaster to disconnect the supply of its signals without any further orders from the tribunal.

The MSO filed the petition after Star disconnected the supply of its signals to the MSO on 5 June. It had issued a disconnection notice on 12 May due to non-submission of SMS reports, non-payment of licence fees and non-cooperation in audit.

According to the notice, the dues of licence fee against the MSO amount to Rs 1.319 million as on 31 March.

Vishal Cable Network’s counsel Vikram Singh submitted that the MSO would provide the respondent with SMS reports for the months of April and May 2015 within two days from Tuesday.

He also submitted that the broadcaster may commence the audit of the MSO’s technical system on 16 June and the petitioner would offer full cooperation in this regard.

Meanwhile, the parties are directed to reconcile their accounts to ascertain the exact dues against the petitioner.

The tribunal has directed Star India counsel Saurabh Srivastava to file the reply to the notice within four weeks from today. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the reply.

The matter has been put up on 24 July for further directions.