Kalanithi Maran’s Kal Cables gets interim relief to transmit signals in analogue mode
MUMBAI: Kalanithi Maran-promoted Kal Cables will be able to continue transmitting signals in analogue mode. The Madras High Court has granted interim relief to the multi-system operator (MSO) against a Central government order that mandates all cable TV networks to transmit signals in digital mode.
Kal Cables was allowed to transmit analogue signals by Justice M. Duraiswamy after its counsel and senior advocate A.R.L. Sundaresan submitted that state-run Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd had been granted an extension.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had mandated 31 March as the cut-off date for digitisation of cable TV networks across the country. After the deadline, the licences of MSOs who continued to transmit in analogue mode were to be cancelled.
Kal Cables contended that on 17 April, Arasu Cable was granted three months to switch over to the digital addressable system (DAS) and was subsequently granted an extension until 17 August.
Kal Cables argued that MIB’s preferential treatment to Arasu Cable was arbitrary. “When the entire nation has been digitised and all the MSOs had switched to digital mode and defaulters license being cancelled, allowing Arasu Cable alone to operate in analogue mode is against the right to equality guaranteed by the constitution,” Kal Cables said.
The MSO moved the court as their representation to permit them also to operate in analogue mode on par with Arasu cable has not been considered by the ministry, PTI reported. Contending that equals should be treated equally, the petitioner wanted the court to grant interim stay against the ministry from insisting on transmitting in digital mode and as a consequence permit them to operate in analogue mode
The court has directed the Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan to file a counter affidavit on the plea within a week.