New Delhi: MSOs of Telangana and Telangana Home Secretary are facing the music of TDSAT for their failure to act against multiple orders issued in favour of TV9, which directed them to restore the transmission of the signals of news channel TV9.
However, neither the MSO nor the government of Telangana took the direction of TDSAT seriously and kept delaying the matter with all possible excuses that made the TDSAT to understand that it was just a tantrum to keep the issue unsolved and let the broadcaster suffer.
Hence, In its final order on 14th October, TDSAT has taken the extreme step of advising the Information and Broadcasting ministry to cancel the license of MSOs in Telangana and demanded the chief secretary of Telangan to be present before TDSAT in the presence of Solicitor General of India to discuss on the impact and consequences of cancellation of MSO licenses in Telangana on 29th October.
The crux of the harsh judgement of TDSAT states that “We are constrained to observe that due to the rigid and seemingly unreasonable stand taken by the State of Telangana, the matter is getting more and more complicated. The matter no longer relates to the telecast of a TV channel or even the enforcement of the orders passed by the Tribunal, constituted by law passed by the Parliament. What is now in issue is upholding the rule of law in a part of the country and the responsibility has fallen on our shoulders.
Mr. Parameshwar informs us that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had already issued show cause notices on 17 and 24 July 2014 to all the MSOs for refusing to carry the petitioner’s channel. Under the circumstances, we may feel compelled to ask the Ministry to take the proceedings to logical conclusion and to cancel the licences of all the MSOs operating in Telangana. We are conscious that it may have grave consequences as the people of Telangana may be deprived of viewing TV through the medium of cable. Hence, before making any such direction, we would like to hear the Solicitor General for India. We accordingly request the Solicitor General for India to address us on the issue on 29.10.2014.
Let a copy of this order be handed over to Mr.Parameshwar for communication to the Solicitor General for India. Mr.Parameshwar will also ensure that the Solicitor General for India is provided with full and complete set of briefs of these cases.
We also direct the Home Secretary, State of Telangana who is respondent no.5 in these petitions to appear on that date.
Market sources state that “the verdict of TDSAT has shook the Telangana MSOs as their act of trying the please the ruling state government has casted their business” and the absence of the Counsel of Telangana was also seen as a complete let down by the state government.
Sources also confirm that the MSOs caught in the middle of the state government’s anger against particular news channels are thinking of ditching the state government and safe guard their business by resuming the signals of TV9 as per the TDSAT’s direction.