With cable operators rushing to state High Courts against closure of Phase III and getting stay orders, implementation of digital addressable system has almost halted. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has become worried and decided to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
MIB will be filing the petition in the apex court to club the orders from different high courts to get all stays vacated in one stroke.
Earlier, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad had granted a two-month stay on DAS implementation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The HCs of Bombay and Orissa had restrained the implementation of DAS Phase III. The High Court of Sikkim had granted a 12-week stay. The Madras High Court had ordered status quo.
Shortage of set-top boxes (STBs), unresolved issues related to interconnection agreements in Phases I and II, and cable operators plea for requiring more time to seed boxes were some of the issues various high courts took note of.
Earlier on 30 December, Information & Broadcasting (I&B) special secretary JS Mathur had informed the stakeholders that 76 per cent digitisation had been achieved in Phase III areas as per the management information system (MIS) software. The percentage would shoot up to 86.25 per cent if Tamil Nadu were excluded.
It was also told that some areas having way few subscribers had quo seeding.
Sources reveal that cable operators from many other states are also approaching their respective High Courts to seek rekief as they have been given the registration at the last moment with no time to set up their networks.
According to the MIB’s updated list, there are 33.35 million TV households in DAS Phase III areas covering 29 states and five Union territories.