TDSAT allows DEN to be governed by agreement on RIO basis

TDSAT has accepted DEN’s demand that it should be governed by an agreement on RIO basis. However, the Tribunal also ordered DEN to pay ZEE approximately Rs 23.50 crore before February 9, 2018

e4m by Nishant Saxena
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 9:00 AM

TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) has accepted DEN's demand that it should be governed by an agreement on RIO basis. The Tribunal also ordered DEN to pay ZEE approximately Rs. 23.50 crore before February 9, 2018.

"We are of the considered view that petitioner should be governed by an agreement on RIO basis," reads the order.

DEN had filed a petition in TDSAT to go on an RIO with ZEEL. ZEEL, however, had responded that since SMS and CAS of DEN were not compliant with the regulations, TV channels could not be provided to DEN on RIO. The two parties were also in dispute due to non-renewal of their commercial arrangement which expired on December 31, 2017.

"However, in respect of admitted dues of Rs. 23.50 crore, we find no justification on the part of the petitioner in not paying so far. Hence the said amount of Rs. 23.50 crore approximately, in view of admission by the petitioner in its affidavit, should be paid by the petitioner to the respondent within one week from today," it further read. The order was passed on February 2, 2018.

The Tribunal had also directed both DEN and ZEE to appear before CA Mediator on February 5, 2018 and asked the Mediator to submit/furnish the result of the mediation proceedings within 10 days. It also said that the issue of outstanding dues should be dealt separately and further examined after receipt of the report from the Mediation Centre.

Also, TDSAT said that the BECIL report shows that DEN has been found to be "compliant with TRAI regulations."
In its January 15, 2018 order, the Tribunal had directed Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL) to supply the report to them after DEN's submission that BECIL be directed to hold an audit.

BECIL report has also disclosed in its report three Joint Venture companies of DEN having independent DAS license along with independent head-end separate CAS and SMS servers.

However, it expressed time and expenditure constraints to complete the audit expeditiously and requested at least six weeks' time be granted for the audit.

The Tribunal granted BECIL six weeks' times and added that the charges for the audit shall be "payable by the petitioner" and postponed the matter for further hearing on February 21, 2018, in light of the mediation report.

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