TDSAT directs Dish TV to pay Rs 55 cr to Star by 27 Jul to avoid disconnection

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV to pay Rs 55 crore to broadcaster Star India by 27th July in order to avoid disconnection of signals.

Star India had issued a disconnection notice against Dish TV on 3rd July. The broadcaster also filed a recovery petition in the TDSAT. The notice discloses a brief history of financial arrangements between the parties which led to a settlement MOU dated 12th December 2018.

Dish TV filed a petition in TDSAT against the disconnection notice. In its order on the Dish TV petition, the tribunal asked Star India not to give effect to its disconnection notice if the DTH operator pays Rs 55 crore and produces proof of it by the next date of hearing, which is fixed at 29th July.

“Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that if the petitioner pays Rs. 55 crore to the respondent by 27th July 2019 and produces proof of such payment by the next date, without prejudice to the claims of the parties, impugned notice shall not be given effect to until the next date. As it is, we have been given to understand that the notice shall take effect on 29.7.2019,” TDSAT said in its order.

Star India supplied a chart supplied to the TDSAT explaining Dish TV’s liabilities. Against a liability of Rs. 554 crore (Approx), Dish TV has paid Rs. 553 crore (approx.) leaving a balance outstanding of Rs. 83,70,895 on 22nd July in respect of billing till January 2019.

The tribunal noted that for the month of February to May 2019, the DTH operator has been billed for a further amount of Rs. 284 crore (approx.) which includes the balance outstanding of Rs. 83,70,895.

Star India contended that it has not included the interest component. Dish TV has proposed to liquidate the arrears by disclosing in paragraph 11 of the petition that it shall pay Rs. 55 crore by or before 31st July and shall also pay Rs 100 crore in the month of August 2019 and the same amount of Rs. 100 crore in the month of September 2019.

That tribunal said that the dispute is not over figures which may be sorted out if there is a minor discrepancy but over the way DTH operator proposes to pay the current outstanding dues every month starting from the month of June 2019 which may become due in another fortnight.

“Whether further protection needs to be given to the petitioner or not, will depend upon its commitment to take care of the current outstanding dues of every month which should be made clear by the next date,” the TDSAT order stated.

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