TDSAT allows ZEEL to disconnect signals to Manthan in case of default

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed ZEEL to disconnect signals to multi system operator (MSO) Manthan Broadband Services in case of payment default.

Disposing of ZEEL’s application for vacating the interim order due to payment default by the MSO, the tribunal clarified that the interim order passed earlier will not stand in the way of the broadcaster to issue notice for disconnection in case there is default on the part of the MSO in payment of lawful dues.

Manthan had moved TDSAT against disconnection of signals by ZEEL in March 2017. The tribunal had directed the parties to sign an agreement based on reference interconnect offer (RIO) basis from 1 June 2017 while asking the MSO to clear the dues.

Manthan counsel submitted that the MSO has been facing some financial problems but has managed to pay dues within a reasonable time and, therefore, no case is made out for permitting ZEEL to disconnect the supply of signals.

The tribunal noted that ZEEL cannot straightaway proceed to disconnect signals for alleged non-payment.

“Now when the initial problems have been taken care of and petitioner is enjoying signals under RIO based agreement for last several months, the earlier orders need not act as a restrain upon the respondent no. 1 in exercising its right of disconnection in accordance with the regulations,” the TDSAT said in its order.

The matter has now been listed before the court of Registrar on 17 May to make the case ready for hearing.

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