TDSAT grants interim relief to JPR Channel against Star’s disconnection notice

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed broadcaster Star India not to disconnect signals to multi-system operator (MSO) JPR Channel provided the latter clears the dues in two installments.

JPR Channel had moved TDSAT against Star’s disconnection notice. The broadcaster had issued the notice due to a change in LCN position of its channels and outstanding dues.

The learned counsel for the MSO prayed that the issue of change in LCN within one year of the agreement dated 24th December 2018 has been taken care of by the MSO and the LCN has been restored keeping in view the grievances raised by the broadcaster in their impugned disconnection notice.

The tribunal noted that in view of such a statement at the bar, no direction is required.

The broadcaster has indicated outstanding of Rs. 72.59 lakh against invoices covering the month of September in the impugned notice. The MSO has agreed to pay Rs 60 lakh to Star in two installments.

JPR Channel‘s counsel submitted that even if the issue of incentives is left out for the present because it is under consideration of the broadcaster, the outstanding dues according to the petitioner would come to Rs. 59,49,252/- for the period up to September 2019.

The counsel further prayed that parties be directed to reconcile the accounts for sorting out the differences in the figures of outstanding dues noted above.

The tribunal gave JPR the liberty to approach Star within one week. It also asked Star to extend the necessary facilities so that reconciliation of account for the dues of monthly subscription is sorted out within two weeks from today.

“For the present, it appears just accept the offer of the petitioner that it shall pay Rs. 30 Lakh by 28.11.2019 and another Rs. 30 Lakh by 07.12.2019. Such payment shall be on account and shall abide by further direction of this Tribunal,” TDSAT said in the order.

The tribunal further stated that the outcome of reconciliation of accounts should be brought to the notice of this tribunal before the next date. “In case payments indicated are made by the petitioner within the time granted, the impugned notice of disconnection shall not be given effect to till the next date.”

The matter has been posted under the head “for Directions” on 13th December.