ZEEL moves TDSAT to recover dues from Independent TV

MUMBAI: Broadcaster ZEEL has moved Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against now-defunct direct to home (DTH) operator Independent TV.

The broadcaster has sought directions for recovery of dues from Independent TV. The tribunal has issued notice to Independent TV and has directed to provide reply in five weeks. The matter has been posted ‘for directions’ on 12th March.

The tribunal stated that it will be open for Independent TV to meet ZEEL to settle the issue of outstanding dues and if possible to return the decoders. It also stated that interim prayer will be considered after service of notice.

It is pertinent to note that that TDSAT had recently pulled up Independent TV for failing to clear IndiaCast Media’s dues worth Rs 3.56 crore. The tribunal has granted three weeks’ time to the company for filing the entire list of assets on affidavit as required by provisions in Order XXI Rule 41 of CPC which prescribes a format for that purpose.

It has also asked Independent TV to take steps to pay the admitted dues by the next date otherwise suitable orders for the execution of judgment and decree for the admitted amount shall be passed. The matter has been posted under the same head on 4th February.

Antrix Corporation had recently sought TDSAT’s liberty to pursue independent proceeding to recover its dues from Independent TV. Independent TV, which had moved TDSAT in 2018 seeking relief against the disconnection of satellite signals by Antrix, prayed for adjournment by three or four weeks so that its can make the required financial arrangement for pursuing its prayer with Antrix.

The TDSAT had noted that Antrix is always at liberty to pursue its claim in accordance with the law. It also said that if no fruitful development takes place in the matter by the next date, Antrix is always at liberty of protecting its right to approach again. The matter has been posted under the same head on 19th February.

In July, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had directed Independent TV to adhere to the provisions of the new regulatory framework and provide information about six key issues for the last six months within five days.

Independent TV had shut down last year leaving thousands of susbcribers in the lurch. After a prolonged period of service disruption, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) had also suspended interim renewal of Independent TV’s DTH licence.

Besides broadcasters and Antrix, many subscribers are also chasing Independent TV to refund their money. The DTH operator has assured the MIB that it will refund the money of subscribers in their wallets.

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