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TDSAT directs NSTPL not to disconnect signals to cable op, provided dues are cleared

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed headend-in-the-sky (HITS) operator Noida Software Technology Park Ltd (NSTPL) not to disconnect signals to cable operator Guru Kripa Cable Network, provided the latter clears outstanding dues.

The tribunal directed the cable operator to pay Rs 60,000 to NSTPL within three weeks and another payment of Rs 55,000 within three weeks thereafter.

Apart from the payment of the above dues, the cable operator will have to continue to pay the monthly subscription fees based on invoices raised by the HITS operator.

The payments will be without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties, the tribunal said.

As per NSTPL, the cable operator had admitted dues amounting to Rs 113,956 vide email dated 2 April.

Guru Kripa counsel Mayank Kshirsagar, however, said that the amount needed to be reconciled since it had made some excess payment earlier.

The tribunal has put up the matter before the registrar’s court on 12 August for getting the pleadings completed, framing of issues and, if the parties concur, taking evidences.

Kshirsagar also stated that some of their set-top boxes (STBs) had been deactivated by NSTPL and that they were not receiving all the channels on the other activated STBs.

NSTPL counsel Joby Varghese, on instructions, made a categorical statement that for the activated STBs all the channels were being given. However, some STBs, for which the cable operator has not submitted customer application forms (CAF), have been disconnected.

He also stated that these STBs would be activated immediately if the cable operator supplied the CAFs for the same, as required by the regulation. Kshirasagar stated that these CAF forms would be supplied within two weeks from today.

The tribunal has directed NSTPL to file its reply within four weeks from 24 June.. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the reply.