Independent TV had moved TDSAT in 2018 seeking relief against the disconnection of satellite signals by Antrix, and prayed for adjournment by three or four weeks so that its can make the required financial arrangement for pursuing its prayer with Antrix.
However, Antrix counsel raised an objection that the matter is getting adjourned on the prayer of Independent TV for the last several dates which is causing unnecessary expenditure for the government-owned company. The counsel further stated that either the respondent (Antrix) should be permitted to claim its arrears of dues by filing an MA in this petition or liberty be granted to pursue its claim for money against the petitioner (Independent TV) through an independent proceeding.
The tribunal noted that the respondent is always at liberty to pursue its claim in accordance with the law. It also said that if no fruitful development takes place in the matter by the next date, the respondent is always at liberty of protecting its right to approach again. This petition shall be disposed of; may be along with some costs.
Independent TV had moved TDSAT against Antrix seeking retoration of satellite signals. The TDSAT had put in place an interim arrangement whereby Independent TV had to clear dues for the restoration of signals.
In June 2019, Antrix Corporation, which is the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), had disconnected the supply of satellite signals to Independent TV due to non-payment of dues.
After a prolonged period of service disruption, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) suspended interim renewal of Independent TV’s DTH licence.
Antrix enables satellite communications service providers with necessary space segment capacity, predominantly covering the Indian region. Currently, a large number of transponders from INSAT/ GSAT fleet in C, Ext C, and Ku bands are provisioned to Indian users for Television Broadcasting (TV), Direct To Home (DTH), Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and Telephony services.
In addition, transponders leased from foreign satellite operators, on a back-to-back basis, are also provisioned to service providers. The services realised in the process address a wide range of social and business needs.
The matter will be heard next on 19th February 2020.