New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on 29 August sought a response from Information and Broadcasting Ministry and broadcast regulator Trai on a petition seeking regulation of fee charged by MSOs, cable operators and DTH operators to carry the channel on their platform.
While issuing notices to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and the I&B Ministry, Justice G.S. Sistani expressed the need to have rationality in fixing the charges.
“There has to be some rationality. It is not that the court is deciding to frame regulation,” the Court said, when the counsel appearing for Trai contended that the Court should refrain from interfering in the matter.
The Court was hearing the petition, filed by Delhi-based news channel Total TV, challenging the validity of carriage fees being charged by DTH operators, distributors, MSOs, cable operators.
It approached the court after Prasar Bharati hiked the carriage fee from Rs25 lakh to Rs60 lakh per annum to carry the channel on its DTH platform.
It submitted that when Trai has not prescribed any carriage fees to be charged by distributors, the same is to be held as illegal demand and such type of practice should be deprecated and discouraged.
The channel questioned the basis for fixing such charge when there were no norms or guidelines laid down by the government.
“There are no norms or guidelines regarding demand of carriage fees laid out by the government. On what basis DTH firms fix the carriage fee,” channel said.