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TDSAT directs DEN to pay Rs 25 cr to Star as dues for DAS and non-DAS areas

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes
Settlement & Appellate Tribunal
(TDSAT) has directed multi-system
operator (MSO) DEN Networks to clear
broadcaster Star India’s dues to the
tune of roughly Rs 25 crore (Rs 250
million) for digital addressable system
(DAS) and non-DAS areas.
The tribunal has directed DEN to pay
Rs 4.26 crore (Rs 42.6 million) in dues
for non-addressable system areas by
30 September and Rs 20.21 crore (Rs
202.1 million) for DAS areas by 3
Star had issued two invoices to DEN
for monthly licence fee payment on 11
September. The two invoices were
emailed to the MSO on 18 September.
For non-DAS areas, it had issued
invoice of Rs 4.26 crore (Rs 42.6
million) for the month of September
and the other for DAS areas excluding
Navi Mumbai for the months of June
and July for the sum of Rs 20.21
crore (Rs 202.1 million).
The broadcaster had filed two
applications on 21 September for non-
payment of dues mentioned in the two
DEN Networks counsel Meet Malhotra
contested that the invoiced amounts
included the increase of 27.5 per cent
provided under the TRAI Tariff Order
which was quashed by the tribunal by
judgment and order dated 28 April.
The contention is mainly that since a
part of the invoiced amounts is based
on increases not sanctioned by law,
the MSO is not liable to make payment
of the invoices until reconciliation of
accounts between the two sides, as
directed by the tribunal’s order, is
On hearing counsel for the parties,
the tribunal said it was unable to
accept Malhotra’s contention.
The tribunal observed that the
invoiced amount of Rs 4.26 crore (Rs
42.6 million) for the non-DAS areas is
in accordance with the agreement
executed between the parties.
Therefore, the MSO is liable to pay
the aforesaid amount by 30 September
as the agreement requires the MSO to
pay the licence fee for every month
at the end of the month, it added.
On the invoice for the DAS area, Star
India counsel Rajshekhar Rao
submitted that the invoicing was
running behind time due to the
petitioner’s default in furnishing the
subscriber management system (SMS)
reports. According to Rao, SMS
reports for the months of June and
July 2015 were given to the
respondent only in September 2015
whereupon the invoices were raised
for those two months.
On hearing the counsel for the
parties, the tribunal observed that
the MSO is bound to make payment of
the invoiced amounts for the months
of June and July 2015 by 3 October as
the DAS agreement allows the MSO
petitioner to make payment within 15
days of the receipt of the invoice.
DEN was also directed to give SMS
reports to the broadcaster for each
month as stipulated in the DAS
agreement. Malhotra said that the
SMS reports for August and September
2015 would be given to the respondent
as required under the agreement.
Malhotra also stated that apart from
Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million), as
directed by the previous order, the
MSO had made some more payments to
the broadcaster. He also gave the
details of payments, including cheque
numbers, etc., to the counsel for the
The tribunal said that broadcaster
would verify the payments as claimed
to have been made by the MSO and
those payments would naturally be
adjusted against the payment for the
invoices in question.
Earlier, the tribunal had directed the
MSO to make on-account payment of
Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) to Star by
18 September. Apart from the
payment of the back dues, the MSO
was also directed to make payment of
the current dues of the licence fee on
the basis of the invoices raised by the
DEN cleared the dues in two tranches.
It paid Rs 11.91 crore (Rs 119.1
million) on 18 September and Rs 3.09
crore (Rs 30.9 million) on 21
September. Even though the payments
were not fully in compliance with the
order, the tribunal said that it would
consider it a lapse and leave the
matter at that.

TDSAT directs DEN to pay Rs 25 cr to Star as dues for DAS and non-DAS areas

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