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TDSAT dismisses Discovery’s application seeking Rs 6.7 mn as dues from Karnataka MSO

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has dismissed a plea by Discovery Communications India against Karnataka-based multi-system operator (MSO) All India Digital Network to recover Rs 67,01,292 from the latter.

Justice Aftab Alam and TDSAT member Bipin Bihari Srivastava ruled that the evidence produced by Discovery in the form of emails from All India Digital Network does not prove the broadcaster’s claim that MSO owed the amount.

“On hearing counsel for the parties, we are satisfied that the claim of the petitioner (Discovery) cannot be allowed under Order XII, Rule 6 of the CPC. MA Number 21 of 2016 is accordingly dismissed,” the TDSAT ruled, dismissing Discovery’s petition against All India Digital Network.

With regard to the first email from All India Digital Network, submitted by Discovery to prove that negotiations were on, the tribunal said, “It is impossible to infer that the respondent admitted its liability for payment of any specified amount to the petitioner (Discovery), much less the specific amount claimed by the petitioner (Discovery) in its petition, later amended by the affidavit dated 2 February 2016.”

In another email, All India Digital Network had referred to a strategic tie-up with GTPL Hathway, and Discovery was asked to make changes in the name of the MSO.

Concerning this email dated 19 May 2015, which was submitted by Discovery as evidence, the TDSAT observed, “Indeed, an admission of certain outstanding dues of the petitioner in respect of which it is stated that the payment would be made by GTPL Hathway. It is, however, evident that the admission is not to the effect that the respondent owes to the petitioner the specified amount as claimed by the petitioner and on the basis of that email, it would not be possible to make any decree as claimed by the petitioner.”

The hearing in the main petition will continue. The matter has been posted for hearing on 17 August.