TDSAT on 30 October directed Taj Television (India) Pvt. Ltd, not to give effect to the disconnection order against IndusInd Media & Communications Ltd if the latter makes payment according to a schedule drawn up by the Tribunal as an interim arrangement.
Under the order, Indusind counsel Vandana D. Jaisingh handed over to Taj TV counsel Tejveer Singh Bhatia four cheques amounting to Rs 5.42 crore. In addition, Indusind will pay Rs 10 crore by 2 November, Rs 5 crore by 9 November and Rs 10 crore by 30 November, 2015.
Admitting the case and posting it before the Registrar’s court on 18 December for completion of pleadings, the Tribunal made clear that the directions are towards earlier dues. In addition, Indusind must make payments of the invoices raised by Taj TV for the months of October and November this year.
TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava said the payments made in terms of this interim order will be without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties.
Taj TV was asked to file the reply within three weeks from today (30 October). Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within two weeks thereafter.
The agreement between the two companies came to end on 31 March but the latter continued to supply signals and Indusind continued to receive the signals and re-transmit them to its affiliates without any renewal of agreement and paying the subscription.
Taj TV finally gave disconnection notices to Indusind on grounds of non-payment of dues and non-renewal of the interconnect agreement. In the notice, the dues are quantified at Rs 36.44 crore upto 30 September. The amount of dues mentioned in the disconnection notice relate only to the monthly subscription fees.
Although, Indusind disputed the amount mentioned in the disconnection notices contending that after the expiry of the agreement, the Taj TV is unauthorisedly raised invoices increasing the rate by more than 10 per cent from the rate mentioned in the previous agreement, Bhatia on behalf of Taj TV said the invoices from April 2015 onwards have been raised strictly in terms of the provisions of the agreement.
The Tribunal felt that the submission of Bhatia “appears to be prima facie correct but we do not wish to make any conclusive pronouncement on that aspect of the matter at this stage.”