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TDSAT directs Kanpur LCOs to clear Siti Cable’s dues at Rs 47.50 per sub

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed local cable operators (LCOs) affiliated to Kanpur Cable Operators Association, who have not made any payment of the subscription fees for the months of August and September 2015, to make payments to multi-system operator (MSO) Siti Cable at Rs 47.50 per subscriber.

Siti Cable Networks counsel Tejveer Singh Bhatia stated that in terms of the agreement between the LCOs and the respondent, the LCOs were liable to pay monthly subscriber fees at Rs 40 per subscriber up to 31 March 2014 and from 1 April 2014 at Rs 47.50 per subscriber.

Kanpur Cable Operators Association counsel Vineet Bhagat stated that all the 187 LCOs have made payments to the respondent at those rates up to July 2015 and after July 2015, only some could make the payment at Rs 47.50 per subscriber because the MSO is no longer accepting the payment at that rate.

According to Bhatia, even at the rate mentioned in Rs 47.50 per subscriber, the LCOs are heavily in default and the cumulative amount of dues runs into Rs 2.11 crore (Rs 21.1 million) as on 31 August.

Giving a composite account, Bhatia proposes to give individual accounts of all the 187 cable operators showing the payment made by each one of them and their respective dues.

At this stage, Bhagat referred to the statements made in Paras 4 (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) of the petition where it is averred that in the circumstances narrated on those paragraphs, the parties had agreed that the respondent should not raise any invoices for the months of April, May and June 2013.

He submitted that the respondent account should also take into consideration the aforesaid statement.

The tribunal directed Bhatia to give a copy of the individual accounts of the LCOs to Bhagat within one week. Bhagat may file his response to the statement of account given by Bhatia within a week from its receipt.

The matter has been put up under the same head on 17 November.

Meanwhile, the tribunal said that in the order dated 10 September, it was noted that though the petition was filed claiming to represent a total number of 205 LCOs, individual authorisation were filed by only 187 cable operators and it was stated that authorisation from the rest would also be filed within a week.

Since no further authorisation is filed by any cable operator, the tribunal said that this petition would remain confined to 187 cable operators and any order (interim or final) passed in the proceedings would be binding on each of the 187 cable operators who authorised the association to represent their case before the tribunal.