TDSAT directs TV Vision to provide time schedule for payment of dues to GTPL Hathway

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed broadcaster TV Vision to come forward with a time schedule for payment of multi system operator (MSO) GTPL Hathway’s dues by the next date. The matter has been posted under the same head on 23rd August.

TV Vision has admitted its liability to pay Rs. 2.16 crore to GTPL Hathway. “We hold that respondent is liable to pay that amount and, therefore, it should come forward with a time schedule for payment by the next date,” the TDSAT said in its order.

The tribunal noted that TV Vision appeared through a counsel on the very first day when this petition was admitted for hearing. On that date, GTPL wanted an interim relief to the extent of an amount emerging on the basis of an e-mail from the broadcaster. The tribunal granted TV Vision time to take a stand whether documents at pages 85-87 of the brief are admitted or not.

In the next hearing on 28th May, TV Vision’s counsel prayed for and was granted, four weeks’ time for the purpose of making efforts to settle the matter. It was indicated in the order that if the matter is not settled by the next date, the broadcaster must take a clear stand on the issue of admission in the e-mail by filing a reply/short reply by the next date when the matter was last listed on 2nd July.

The broadcaster’s prayer for two week’s time for filing reply appears to be an attempt to buy time. However, by way of last opportunity, we granted two weeks’ time to the respondent to file reply/short reply as already communicated in the order dated 28th May, otherwise necessary orders shall be passed on the presumption that the respondent has no suitable reply.

All the while, the tribunal had kept it open for the respondent to meet the broadcaster’s representative. A meeting took place on 6th July but without any offer of a time schedule for payment.

GTPL Hathway counsel prayed for passing an order for interim decree on the basis of admission in the e-mail already noticed earlier and also on the basis of a subsequent e-mail dated 11th July.

TV Vision counsel submitted that the company is in financial difficulty at the moment and, therefore, some time is required to re-arrange the finances and hence, at least four weeks’ time may be granted to enable it to make an offer for payment of lawful dues in a scheduled manner.