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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 05:48

‘Ministry of Consumer Affairs must return Tata Sky’s seized STBs’: Delhi HC

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On 12 March, the DTH operator Tata Sky got relief as the Delhi High Court has issued an interim order asking the ministry of consumer affairs (MCA) to return over six lakh set top boxes (STBs) it had seized in January this year.

The ministry had confiscated the DTH operator’s STBs for not displaying the maximum retail price (MRP). 

The court however allowed the ministry to keep five of those for continuing with its probe.

The HC said the government’s decision was “prima facie arbitrary” and resulted not only in a financial loss to the direct broadcast satellite television provider, but also affected consumers who could not shift to the new STBs.

It added the proceedings initiated by the government might go on in accordance with law and the company would participate in it. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on 27th July.

As reported earlier, Tata Sky had challenged the MCA’s seizure of its STBs for not displaying the MRP. The company had challenged the constitutional validity of a rule, which makes it mandatory to display the MRP on STBs.

The DTH platform urged that Rule 4 of the Legal Metrology Rules, which makes declaring the MRP on STBs mandatory, be quashed. It has also sought quashing of an August 9, 2018 circular by which the rule was made applicable to STBs. It has contended that it is not required to declare the MRP on STBs as those fall under the definition of “industrial consumer” according to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011.

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