Order was passed on a writ petition filed by Cable Operators Guild of Madurai

The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday stayed the operation of a notification issued by Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Television Corporation (TACTV) on February 20 for extending to its subscribers the facility of online payment of monthly subscription from March 1.

Justice K.K. Sasidharan granted the interim stay as the counsel for TACTV failed to appear in the court despite the judge having asked the Corporation on Monday to submit its reply at the earliest in view of the urgency involved in the matter.

The order was passed in a writ petition filed by Cable Operators Guild of Madurai. The guild had sought the quashing of the notification on the ground that it would affect the livelihood of local cable operators who were involved in door-to-door collection of subscription.

According to the guild, TACTV had initially permitted them to collect Rs. 70 for every connection and deposit Rs. 20 with the corporation. The rest of the amount could be retained by cable operators to meet expenses incurred by them in offering cable television services to the subscribers.

However, the recent notification provided additional options of paying the subscription either online or to representatives of TACTV. This would not be in the interest of the corporation itself as the cable operators would not be in a position to monitor defaulters and snap their connections, the guild claimed.

Further, claiming that the State Government had instituted TACTV on the promise that it would not affect cable operators in any way, the guild said that the recent notification would force many of them to shut down business at a time when they have been complaining that Rs.50 per connection itself was insufficient.