MIB set to take final call on Horizon’s licence name change application

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) will be taking a final call on Horizon Satellite Services’ (HSS) applications for name and logo change.

The broadcaster has applied for changing the name of the licence to BloomberQuint from Y TV. The company has also sought the ministry’s approval in bringing new directors.

Appearing on behalf of the MIB in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), Additional Solicitor General (ASG) produced a copy of a letter dated 13th December 2019 issued under the signature of Vijay Kaushik, Under Secretary to Govt. of India addressed to the Managing Director of HSS.

The ASG has conveyed that HSS has been given an opportunity to appear before the ministry along with the written submissions on 18th December at 11 am and to present its views in both the matters which are indicated in the subject.

In other words, the tribunal noted that the petitioner’s application seeking a change of name and logo as well as its reply to the Show Cause Notice dated 6th December will be considered in light of its submissions.

The tribunal added that this stand of the MIB, for the present, takes care of the anxiety expressed by it in the last two orders.

“It appears that now the respondent shall be taking a final decision in both the matters indicated in the subject of the letter dated 13.12.2019. Hence, those matters need not be considered by this Tribunal today on merits,” TDSAT said in its order.

On instructions, ASG has further submitted that a decision on the relevant matters shall be taken and communicated to the petitioner on or before 25th December.

“Needless to say that it will be open for the petitioner to pursue its remedies in accordance with the law, if the petitioner is not satisfied with the order,” the order stated.

The matter has been posted under the same head on 14th January 2020.

Earlier, the TDSAT had adjourned the Horizon Satellite Services vs Union of India matter to 16th December as the MIB has issued a fresh show-cause notice to HSS.

By the order dated 29th November, the tribunal had granted only one week’s time to the MIB to dispose of Horizon’s pending applications, although, the prayer was made for grant of two weeks’ time.

HSS, which has been acquired by Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Business Media, has moved TDSAT against the delay by MIB to process its name change application. The company wants to change the name of its licence from Y TV to Bloomberg Quint.

QBM, which is a 74:26 joint venture (JV) between Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media and Bloomberg, had applied for a fresh licence to launch Bloomberg Quint channel. However, the company failed to secure a licence from the MIB.

Subsequently, QBM acquired Horizon Satellite Service, which owns two news and current affairs television licences. Following the acquisition by QBM, Horizon has sought MIB’s approval to change the name of one of its licences. The company also wants approval for the change of directors.

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