Madras high court rejects plea to stay TRAI pricing order

Petition filed by cable TV body claims regulations not consumer friendly and will affect livelihood of local cable TV operators

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 3:04 PM

The Madras High Court on Friday refused to put a stay on the implementation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) regulations and tariff order regarding charges for free and pay channels.

Rejecting the interim plea filed by a cable TV body, Justice S Vaidyanathan issued a notice to TRAI and posted the matter to January 3 for further hearing.

The Chennai Metro Cable TV (CAS) Operators Association had sought to quash two notifications on the new regulations issued through media releases on November 19 and December 18 fixing December 29 as the deadline for implementing the tariff order.

It also sought an interim stay on implementation of the regulations. 

The TRAI counsel submitted that the matter had been already raised before the Supreme Court and the authority itself has now extended the deadline for implementation to January 31 to help service providers ensure a smooth transition of subscribers from the old to the new regulatory framework.

The petitioner association submitted that objections were raised by an activist after the first communication was issued on November 19. However, TRAI without considering the objections passed the second impugned release, issued on December 18 specifying the deadline, it said.

The petition claimed that the new arrangement under which each local cable operator (LCO) will have to ask consumer to choose the channel and collect the required fees was "unworkable" and not consumer friendly.

The new system compels consumers to see only certain channels and this would affect their fundamental right to see all channels, it claimed. It would also affect the livelihood of LCOs, the petition submitted.


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