Tata Sky on Wednesday withdrew its contempt petition against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for implementing the tariff order, after the Delhi High Court said that there was no case of contempt against TRAI.

Briefing about the court order, TRAI’s counsel Saket Singh told exchange4media, “The court said that this is not a case of contempt. They (Tata Sky) should move an appropriate application for stay, after which Tata Sky withdrew its petition and sought permission to file a fresh application.” 

Tata Sky had filed the contempt petition in the Delhi High Court against TRAI after the Authority yesterday issued a press note announcing that its tariff order had come into effect from July 3, 2018. 

The basis of Tata Sky’s contempt petition was that last year, Bharti Airtel Telemedia, Tata Sky and Discovery Communication India had filed petitions against TRAI in the Delhi High Court, challenging its tariff order and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection Regulations 2017. The matter was already being heard by the Madras High Court. So in its August 29, 2017 order, the Delhi HC had told TRAI that “upon the pronouncement of the judgment by the High Court of Madras, the respondents shall inform the petitioners of the outcome in the judgment and shall inform this court as well before effectuating the orders.” 

To inform the court about effectuating the order, TRAI filed an affidavit and issued the press note saying, “in compliance to the direction of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, in its order dated 29th August 2017, the Authority has duly filed an affidavit to this effect on 3rd July 2018 before the Hon’ble Court.”

Meanwhile, SN Sharma, CEO, DEN Networks, welcomed TRAI’s move to implement the tariff order. “We are very positive and working with a positive mind. We welcome this move,” he said. 

Today, the Delhi High Court Division Bench-III comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shakhar heard the matter in Court No. 6.

In the press note issued yesterday, TRAI announced, “The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017 and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 as upheld by the Hon’ble Madras High Court and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 come into effect from 3rd July 2018.” 

In the press note, the Authority has also given the following timeline:

• 60 days to broadcasters for declaration of MRP and nature of channels

• 180 days to MSOs for declaration of Network Capacity Fee

• 60 days to broadcasters for publication of Reference Interconnect Offer

• 60 days to distributors for publishing of Reference Interconnect Offer

• 150 days for signing the Interconnect Agreement

• 180 days for migration of subscribers to new framework

• 120 days for establishment of customer care centre, website, consumer care channel and publication of manual of practice.

exchang4media has written to Tata Sky for comments on the matter, but they are yet to respond. We will update the report as soon as we get a response from them.-exchangeformedia.com