AIDCF welcomes Madras HC order, calls upon stakeholders to avoid further litigation

MUMBAI: The All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has called upon stakeholders (read Star India) to avoid unnecessary litigation and work towards creating a transparent and non-discriminatory regulatory framework governing the sector.

The federation has welcomed Justice M.M. Sundresh’s order upholding Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) powers to come out with the new Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations of 2017.

“We hope that this present judgment, combined with the earlier view of Honorable Ms. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee is taken in the right spirit by the stakeholders and any further unnecessary litigation is avoided so that the Regulatory Authority (TRAI) can move forward and continue working towards its vision of creating a transparent and non-discriminatory regulatory framework governing the sector,” AIDCF president Rajan Gupta said in a statement.

“We are elated to note that Honorable Mr. Justice M.M. Sundresh has concurred that TRAI is within its jurisdiction in notifying the Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations of 2017. This new regulatory framework will benefit the entire sector and especially the consumers, by improving transparency, enhancing subscriber choice and removing discrimination in the provision of content.”

The new Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations was notified by TRAI in March 2017. It was subsequently challenged by Star India and Vijay Television.

Justice Sundresh has concurred with the view of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee who, through an order dated 3rd March 2018, had held that the TRAI Act confers upon TRAI sufficient jurisdiction to notify the said Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulation of 2017.

The federation said that this is a significant pronouncement for the Cable TV broadcasting and distribution sector as it paves the way for augmenting and strengthening consumer choice and also creating a level playing field for all the stakeholders.

It further stated that consumers now stand to benefit significantly as the Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations have several provisions to encourage transparency and promote the real benefits of digitisation by enabling the consumers to pro-actively and economically select channels of their own choice.

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