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Cable men can't charge more than Rs 110 p.m.: Court
September 19, 2003 19:49 IST
In a significant order regarding implementation of conditional access system in Mumbai, a civil court has restrained cable operators from charging more than Rs 110 (i.e. Rs 72 plus taxes) per month from subscribers in the suburbs.
Hearing a civil suit, Judge Roshan Dalvi, on September 17, observed that the government had rolled out CAS in Mumbai in a staggered manner with effect from September 1, 2003, vide its notification dated July 10 read with a press release issued by the concerned ministry on July 5.
Since the Bombay high court had declined to grant any stay on implementation of CAS it would be illegal on the part of cable operators to charge anything more than Rs 72 plus taxes, which work out to Rs 110 per month, in the entire metropolis, excluding zone A, i.e. the island city ranging from Colaba to Sion.
In terms of the scheme spelt out in the official press release the set-top box was mandatorily required to watch pay channels in zone A of the city.
In the rest of the zones all the channels, including pay channels, were required to be made available for Rs 72 per month plus taxes till full implementation of CAS in the entire city, the court observed.
The court was hearing a suit filed by Ahmed M Abdi who had challenged the demand made by cable operator Seven Star to pay the usual cable charges.
As the plaintiff's society did not fall in zone A, the pay channels were not mandatorily to be watched with the use of set top boxes. The defendants are required to charge Rs 72 plus taxes for all the channels, including pay channels, till CAS was implemented fully.
Until then, the defendants could not charge for pay channels, the court said.
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