TDSAT directs Reliance Digital TV to pay Rs 7.5 cr to Antrix to avoid transponder suspension

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Antrix Corporation not to suspend satellite transponders to direct to home (DTH) operator Reliance Digital TV provided the latter makes a payment of Rs 7.5 crore in two installments.

After considering the submissions made and facts on record, the tribunal directed the petitioner to pay, on account, an amount of Rs 7.5 crore of which Rs 5 crore was to be paid preferably by 13 October but certainly on 16 October and the remaining Rs 2.5 crore by the end of the week.

“Subject to fulfillment of the aforesaid directions, there would be no suspension of the availability of transponders to the petitioner. It is expected, that pursuant to the submission made by the petitioner on the earlier date as well as today, the commitments, with regard to PDCs submitted earlier, shall be honoured in letter and spirit,” TDSAT said in its order.

Antrix had threatened to suspend the availability of transponders to Reliance Digital TV due to non-payment of dues. The DTH operator moved TDSAT seeking relief.

Antrix counsel that the DTH operator’s current liability with regard to leasing charges for the transponders works out to Rs 9 crore approximately for the period 15 August till 15 October.

However, Reliance Digital TV counsel Meet Malhotra submitted that according to the subsisting agreement the billing is done at the beginning of the month and the amount is payable by the end of the month.

The tribunal noted that MEASAT has demanded payment of Rs 20.7 crore in advance by the DTH operator to Antrix and its confirmation by the latter in advance to MEASAT.

Meanwhile, the Government of India has been impleaded as respondent no.2. The respondents have been directed to file their reply within three weeks. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within two weeks thereafter.

The matter has been posted before the Registrar Court on 21 November for completion of pleadings and making the case ready for hearing.

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