A representation was made by AIDCF requesting the extension of implementation for a further period of two months in view of the appeal against the direction pending before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
The AIDCF said since the matter is under judicial consideration, any action on the direction will not only be prejudicial to their right and contentions but also against the principle of natural justice. TRAI considered the representation of AIDCF and observed that there is merit in the request under given circumstances as well as in the interest of fairness.
The AIDCF, Multi system operator (MSO) JPR Channel and Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL) are the petitioners in the landing page matter in TDSAT.
TRAI said: “Now, therefore, the Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 13, read with sub-clauses (ii) of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 11, of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, ] 997 (24 of] 997), in order to protect the interest of service providers and to ensure orderly growth of the sector, decided to extend the date of compliance of the direction No. 12-37/20] 7-8&CS dated 03rd December 2018 for previously entered agreements and hereby directs all the broadcasters and distributors of television channels to implement the direction dated 3rd December 2018 as soon as possible but not later than 31st May, 2019.”
The direction was issued on 3rd December directing all broadcasters and distributors of the television channels to restrain from placing any registered satellite television channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or landing channel or the boot-up screen with immediate effect and in case of previously entered agreements, efforts may be made to implement these directions as soon as possible and it shall be implemented in all cases by 31st March 2019.