The Tis Hazari court in Delhi has summoned broadcasters to appear before it on December 16, 2013 in the ongoing 10+2 ad cap case to get bail.
It may be recalled that in August this year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had filed a criminal case against the broadcasters for not following the advertising limits notified by it in May 2013.
TRAI had lodged cases against more than 14 television channels with the Patiala House court in Delhi on August 16, 2013. These channels include Zoom, NDTV Lifestyle, Maa TV, and IBN Lokmat, among others.
TRAI in its complaint had said that the broadcasters have been violating its regulations, which limit the time of advertisements in one clock hour to 12 minutes.
This matter was overruled by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on August 30, which directed TRAI to not take any coercive action against the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) till further orders.
TDSAT in its interim order also stated that NBA did not have to maintain weekly records of implementing the ad restrictions and submit them to TRAI. The reports only need to be submitted to TDSAT.
The Tribunal also asked TRAI not to implement the 10+2 ad cap till November 11. Following the Supreme Court verdict on December 6, 2013, which stated that TDSAT has no power to interfere in TRAI’s recommendations, now the broadcasters have been asked to approach the High Court or else TRAI’s diktat needs to be followed.
Sharing the insight on the case, TRAI Counsel Saket Singh told exchange4media, “These broadcasters have been summoned by the Tis Hazari court for bail on December 16. To some extent, this is also associated with today’s verdict of dismissing the case on ad cap. One of the news broadcasters has also been summoned for bail.”
Meanwhile, if the broadcasters approach the High Court and get an exemption, there will be some relief for them and hearing in the case will continue.