Thursday, 1 October 2015

TDSAT directs DEN to pay Rs 25 cr to Star

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed MSO DEN Networks to clear Star India’s dues to the tune of roughly Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) for digital addressable system (DAS) and non-DAS areas. 
The tribunal has directed DEN to pay Rs 4.26 crore (Rs 42.6 million) in dues for non-addressable system areas by 30 September and Rs 20.21 crore (Rs 202.1 million) for DAS areas by 3 October. 
For non-DAS areas, it had issued invoice of Rs 4.26 crore (Rs 42.6 million) for the month of September and the other for DAS areas excluding Navi Mumbai for the months of June and July for the sum of Rs 20.21 crore (Rs 202.1 million). 
The broadcaster had filed two applications on 21 September for non-payment of dues mentioned in the two invoices. 
DEN Networks counsel Meet Malhotra contested that the invoiced amounts included the increase of 27.5 per cent provided under the TRAI Tariff Order which was quashed by the tribunal by judgment and order dated 28 April. 
The contention is mainly that since a part of the invoiced amounts is based on increases not sanctioned by law, the MSO is not liable to make payment of the invoices until reconciliation of accounts between the two sides, as directed by the tribunal’s order, is complete. 
The tribunal observed that the invoiced amount of Rs 4.26 crore (Rs 42.6 million) for the non-DAS areas is in accordance with the agreement executed between the parties. Therefore, the MSO is liable to pay the aforesaid amount by 30 September as the agreement requires the MSO to pay the licence fee for every month at the end of the month, it added. 
On hearing the counsel for the parties, the tribunal observed that the MSO is bound to make payment of the invoiced amounts for the months of June and July 2015 by 3 October as the DAS agreement allows the MSO petitioner to make payment within 15 days of the receipt of the invoice. 
DEN cleared the dues in two tranches. It paid Rs 11.91 crore (Rs 119.1 million) on 18 September and Rs 3.09 crore (Rs 30.9 million) on 21 September. 


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