The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered that the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation should not open, until further orders, price bids for fixing carriage fee and allotment slots for satellite free-to-air and pay channels in its cable TV service in the State (except Chennai.)
Justice V. Ramasubramanian was passing further interim orders on petitions by various television channels, which had challenged the corporation’s tender of June 28.
The channels stated that by virtue of the tender, the corporation had now brought about a monopoly in offering channels to viewers of television channels through the cable system. It was, in effect, for regularisation of cable network but, in the background of the conditions for carrying the television channels signals, the corporation had denied free-to-air channels available to subscribers.
On July 13, admitting the petitions, the court had ordered that there would be an interim stay of confirmation of auction, scheduled for Tuesday or any subsequent date until further orders.
Mr. Justice Ramasubramanian said that in the light of the July 13 order, the petitioners’ rights were protected to some extent, though not fully. They would lose nothing by participating in the tender since, if the court quashed the notification, eventually their participation would mean only the expenditure they incurred on Earnest Money Deposit. The applicants should submit their applications.
The Judge made it clear that for persons who were not before the court, the extension of time may not apply. The Corporation should not open the price bids, until further orders. He posted the matter for August 9 for filing of counter.