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Madras HC rules in favour of Arasu Corporation in dispute with TRAI

The order would restrain TRAI from discontinuing the analogue signal for Chennai

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

The Madras High Court has today allowed a petition filed by the State-run Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited seeking to restrain Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking any action to switch of the analogue cable TV signal in Chennai Metropoltain area while its application for DAS (digital addressable system) license is pending with the central government.

A single Judge in the Madras High Court today has allowed the petition. The regulator has announced that transmission of analog signals in Chennai Metro is illegal and digitisation has to implemented immediately.

The order would restrain TRAI from discontinuing the analogue signal for Chennai, as it would be against the interest of the public who have not switched over to the digitisation. Besides, a few disputes related to digitisation of Cable TV in Chennai are pending with the Madras High Court.

TRAI has issued a Press release on December 10, 2013, conveying that in Chennai Metro Area transmission of analog signals is illegal and the digitalization has to be implemented immediately.

The petition filed the General Manager of the Arasu Cable TV Corporation asked the High Court to restrain the TRAI from taking any action against it, pursuant to and in terms of a press release dated December 10 this year, pending consideration of the petitioner’s DAS licence applications dated July 5 and November 23 last year with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

In Arasu's affidavit it was said that the Corporation is providing 90-100 channels to the subscribers through the Local Cable Operators (LCOs) including Free to Air Channels, Pay Channels and local channels.

“The Cable TV sector was totally unorganized and few Multi System Operators had created monopoly in Tamil Nadu and thereby forced the local Cable TV operators as well as the public to pay exorbitant amount towards cable TV services. The services now provided by the Corporation is a welfare step taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu, in the interest of the public and Cable TV operators,” said the Corporation.

Arasu has a subscriber base of around 64.79 lakh as on November 30, 2013 in 31 Districts across Tamil Nadu, excluding Chennai Metro Area. Chennai Metro Area, 2495 Cable Operators with a subscriber base of around 14.30 lakhs have registered with the petitioner Corporation.

First Published: Fri, December 20 2013. 19:40 IST