The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is gradually moving towards the completion of its arguments in favour of the tariff order and interconnect regulations before the Madras High Court. On Wednesday, TRAI counsel P Wilson completed his arguments which were followed by the submissions of the regulator’s other advocate Saket Singh. exchange4media is given to understand that Wilson gave “extensive research-based arguments” to justify the actions of the central government’s regulator.
Citing previous court judgements, he reasoned that TRAI’s powers do not overlap with the Copyright Act. Moreover, he reportedly noted that TRAI was well within its jurisdiction to decide on tariff pricing for the broadcast sector which it had also done earlier. Singh is said to be almost halfway through his arguments which will be followed by the intervention of Videocon D2H.
While the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) was supposed to argue before Videocon D2H, their counsel A.R.L Sundaresan is not available on July 13. As a result, AIDCF is expected to pitch in on July 14 subject to the completion of TRAI and Videocon D2H’s submissions. Once all the sides complete their arguments, the court will fix the date of rejoinders. Star India, Vijay TV and the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) have already presented their case before the division bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee.
It is noteworthy to recall that the Supreme Court had directed the Madras HC to dispose the case within a month after granting a stay on the regulations on May 8. Though the matter was scheduled to resume before the Madras HC initially on June 12, the proceedings began only on June 27. The dispute pertains to the constitutionality of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting & Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order and Telecommunication (Broadcasting & Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, both of which were notified in March.