TDSAT directs Meghbela Cable to clear ZEEL’s dues to continue receiving signals

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed multi system operator (MSO) Meghbela Cable & Broadband Services to clear the outstanding due in three tranches in order to continue receiving signals of TV channels.

The tribunal has directed ZEEL to not give effect to its disconnection notice provided the MSO pays Rs 30 lakh by 30th June, Rs 70 lakh by 15th July, and the remaining outstanding amount up to the billing of June by 31st July.

The MSO has also been asked to submit TDS certificates for the amount by 31st. In case of any default, the broadcaster will be at liberty to give effect to the disconnection notice.

Meghbela had filed the petition against the disconnection notice dated 28th May. The disconnection notice has been served for non-payment of the amount of Rs. 1.58 crore against the billing till 30th April. The petition was disposed of with these directions.

The tribunal noted that the MSO does not seriously challenge the amount but wants a reconciliation and accommodation on account of financial difficulty. It also mentioned some amount for reconciliation towards TDS deduction and receivable against the incentive for February 2019 to April.

It further noted that the broadcaster is willing to consider the incentive aspect but wants the payment against the bills due to be made immediately. The broadcaster also pointed out that bill for May 2019 is already due in June 2019 for a sum of Rs. 60.78 lakh which will increase the outstanding.

The MSO submitted that the entire amount is not feasible to pay in one go. However, It is willing to make the full payment by the end of July 2019. It is pointed out that in July 2019 the bill for the month of June 2019 will also be overdue.

Considering these factors, the tribunal proposed that the MSO pays a part amount upfront to show its bonafide and the remaining amount in two more installments.

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