Broadcasters to withdraw petitions challenging TRAI's NTO 2.0 in SC

While the withdrawal will be unconditional, it is learnt that the TRAI is likely to come out with a consultation paper to take care of the grievances of all stakeholders

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Feb 15, 2022 11:01 AM  | 2 min read
TV

The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) and its members will be withdrawing their petitions challenging the New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 in the Supreme Court, e4m has learnt from highly placed sources.

While the withdrawal will be unconditional, it is learnt that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to come out with a consultation paper to take care of the grievances of all the stakeholders, including broadcasters.

The IBDF and other broadcasters have already filed applications before the Supreme Court for withdrawal of petitions. The applications are likely to be taken up today by the apex court.

exchange4media had reported on 10th January that the TRAI and broadcasters have held backroom parleys to end the deadlock over the amended tariff regime.

Sources had revealed that the TRAI will float a consultation paper to look into the concerns of broadcasters, particularly about the reduction of the MRP cap to Rs 12 for inclusion in a bouquet.

However, the TRAI wanted the IBDF to withdraw the case in the Supreme Court. The IBDF, on its part, was then non-committal as it wanted the TRAI to take an official stand before the Supreme Court.

 

According to a source close to the development, the IBDF's inability to get interim relief from the Supreme Court, not once but twice, has prompted it to rethink its stance in light of TRAI's informal assurance.

 

In July 2021, the IBDF had moved Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order rejecting the petitions filed by broadcasters challenging the TRAI's NTO 2.0. In its 1137-page petition, the IBDF had said that the Bombay HC order is erroneous and is liable to be set aside.

 

The biggest grouse that the IBDF had against the Bombay HC order is that it had incorrectly read into Article 19(2) by applying an additional requirement of public interest when it comes to interpreting a broadcaster’s right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a).

The IBDF had argued that this will restrict the fundamental right to speech and expression of the broadcasters and will give powers to the TRAI to micro-manage the broadcasting sector.

 

 

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