TDSAT directs Antrix to take final decision on Independent TV’s two key requests

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Antrix Corporation to take a final decision on direct to home (DTH) operator Independent TV’s request for a two-year agreement for hiring transponders and granting a lease of three additional transponders.

Antrix has been granted four weeks time to communicate the decision on interim prayer for two-year agreement within four weeks. The final decision on the request for three additional transponders has to be made within five weeks.

“We expect that final decision in respect of interim prayer for an agreement for two years shall be communicated to the petitioner within four weeks. So far as leasing for additional three transponders is concerned, the petitioner shall be well advised to make a formal application along with requisite fees at the earliest. The respondents shall consider the application expeditiously and communicate the final decision within five weeks of making the application,” TDSAT said in its order.

The tribunal further stated that Antrix can file an affidavit and bring on record the deliberations in respect of the aforesaid two matters as well as the decision. The matter has been posted under the same head on 2nd July.

In the previous hearing, the tribunal had granted six weeks’ time for the parties to hold discussions and come to conclusions in respect of both the prayers.

In a hearing on 24th May, the tribunal has been informed that final decision in respect of both the prayers has to be taken by the Department of Space (DoS).

It has also been informed that DTH operator’s request for an agreement for a minimum two years is under active consideration and an outcome shall be made known to it very shortly. In respect of lease for three additional transponders, Antrix has stated that the final decision has to be taken by DoS.

The tribunal noted that it is unfortunate that nothing much happened since 2nd April and no final decision has been taken in respect of either of the two prayers. It further stated that Antrix should be aware that the prayers of the DTH operator under consideration only by way of interim relief and will be subject to the final decision by the authorities and by this tribunal.

Independent TV has contended that unless a long term agreement of two years is granted it will incur a higher cost for the services obtained from Antrix Corporation and three additional transponders are absolutely necessary for the petitioner to continue with its present business in the light of the new regulatory framework.

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