Delhi HC stays QoS regulations till Madras HC pronounces judgement in tariff order case
The tariff order and interconnect regulations devised by TRAI will stay on hold.
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The Delhi High Court will await the verdict of the Madras High Court in relation to the tariff order dispute before adjudicating over the pleas filed by Bharti Telemedia and Tata Sky. Till then, the implementation of the tariff order, interconnect regulations and quality of service & consumer protection regulations devised by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be on hold. The decision was taken on Tuesday by a two-judge bench of the Delhi HC comprising of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar.
Sources stated that the proceedings did not get “too lengthy” once the All India Digital Cable Federation informed the court about the status of the case pending before the Madras HC. “We told the court that we were awaiting a judgement in a similar matter,” said a source. Since Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia had also challenged the legal validity of the QoS, the bench deemed it appropriate to stay the same till a judicial pronouncement arises out of the Madras HC.
Interestingly, Discovery Communication India has also become a party to the case before the Delhi HC, although their position could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report. While Discovery engaged the law firm AZB & Partners to represent them in court, Bharti Telemedia and Tata Sky fielded a battery of lawyers from Singh & Singh Law Firm, LLP and Agarwal Law Associates.
On July 31, the division bench of the Madras HC consisting of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar reserved its judgement on a plea filed by Star India and Vijay Television challenging the constitutionality of TRAI’s tariff order and interconnect regulations. Besides AIDCF, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and Videocon d2h are interveners in that case. Though the tariff order was slated to be implemented from the month of September, the previous regime will continue to remain in operation if the Madras HC does not pronounce its judgement in time.
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