The Bombay High Court has rejected the twin pricing conditions of the amended New Tariff Order (NTO 2.0) by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as unconstitutional. At the same time, Bombay HC upheld the constitutional validity of the New Tariff Order.
The final hearing of the plea by broadcasters challenging the new tariff rules (NTO 2.0) published by TRAI in January 2020 was completed last October by a High Court bench led by Justice A A Sayyed.
In February 2021, India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the economic regulator for the broadcast sector, had applied with the Bombay High Court requesting an order be pronounced at the earliest in a case that the country’s broadcasting sector, via some TV channels, had filed contesting the regulator’s economic tariff regulations, also popularly known as the New Tariff Oder 2.0.
TRAI’s request came when the Mumbai court had reserved its order on the case after hearing the petitioners, which include the TV & Films Producers Guild of India, IBF and a clutch of TV channels, and the respondent TRAI.
In the last quarter of 2020, the court had directed TRAI not to take any coercive action against TV channels for not implementing the tariff order, first issued by the regulator in January 2020 and implementable by March 2020. TRAI had requested that only the petitioning channels be exempted from implementing the NTO 2.0, a point the court then discounted, extending the protection to all TV channels.