TDSAT adjourns landing page matter to 29 Jan

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has adjourned the landing page matter to 29 January. The interim order restraining Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from going ahead with its direction 8 November direction continues.

The tribunal noted that the pleadings are complete from the materials on record.

It further stated that the matter has to be reconsidered in view of the pleadings and may require some length of time to hear the parties on various aspects relating to these cases.

Hence, these matters may be listed under the same head on 29.1.2018, the tribunal said in its order adding that the interim orders to continue until the next date.

Earlier, the tribunal had adjourned the landing page matter to 5 January 2018 for hearing the parties on the interim prayer for paucity of time.

The tribunal had also noted that as per last order the interim order has to be considered further in the light of reply filed by the TRAI. The authority also made it clear that the reply filed in Appeal No. 3 of 2017 may be treated as a reply to all the other Appeals.

In its reply, the TRAI had told the TDSAT that striking down the landing page direction will set a wrong precedent.

It had also urged the tribunal to make the direction effective immediately to prevent distortion in the sector and to maintain equilibrium and level playing field among service providers.

The authority had issued a direction on 8 November directing all distribution platform operators (DPOs) and TV broadcasters not to put their channels on the landing page as it is against the regulation, which states that a channel can only be placed in one genre.

The direction was challenged Bennet Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), All India Digital Cable Federation, DEN Networks, Fastway Transmission and Satellite Channels following which the tribunal restrained the regulator from enforcing it.

The petitioners have challenged the TRAI direction on two grounds. The first ground was that the TRAI didn’t have the jurisdiction to issue a direction while the second ground was that the authority didn’t follow the principle of transparency while issuing the direction.

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