SC to now take up TRAI landing page issue in January 2020
The decision comes after TRAI filed a petition challenging a TDSAT judgment
The Supreme Court has reportedly adjourned the hearing on the landing page matter until January 2020. This comes after The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had filed a petition challenging the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal‘s (TDSAT) judgment dated 29th May.
According to reports, TRAI, in its petition has argued that the TDSAT’s judgment has erroneously held and decided the two legal issues which have far-reaching consequences. In the first hearing on August 9, the Supreme Court had declined to stay the TDSAT judgment after the TRAI had sought a stay on the judgment.
TRAI has argued that TDSAT has failed to recognise that in a landing page agreement, the parties enter into a commercial arrangement and that the distributor of television channels also agrees to carry out technical changes for that particular channel in its system to be placed in a particular manner.
It also stated that the first legal issue is that of the subject matter of the placement of a channel of the broadcaster, by the distributor on the landing page of a subscriber, not interconnection and hence lies beyond the purview of TRAI. The second issue that has arisen due to the TDSAT judgement is that TRAI does not have the power to issue directions regarding placement of channel and that this could only be done by TRAI through regulations.
On 3 December 2018, TRAI directed all broadcasters and distributors of the TV channel to refrain from placing any registered TV channel whose rating is being measured on the landing page or the boot-up screen with immediate effect and that the directive has to be implemented in all cases by 31st March 2019. However, in relation to previously entered agreements, efforts should be made to implement these directions as soon as possible.
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