TRAI’s Special Leave Petition in Supreme Court Seeking Clarification on 15% Bouquet Discount Cap Today Dismissed as Withdrawn

The special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India seeking clarifications on the 15% bouquet discount cap last month was today dismissed as withdrawn in the Supreme Court.

Court was of the opinion that the clarification should have been sought earlier while the matter was being argued, point towards the delay.

TRAI also failed to obtain a written assurance from the court on the possibility of the latter entertaining similar clarifications in the future.

In December, the regulator had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of 15 per cent cap on discount on a bouquet price of TV channels to the viewers  of the consumers that had been set aside by Madras High Court while upholding TRAI’s right to regulate the broadcast sector.

TRAI’s petition, in common man language, exhorts the Supreme Court to set aside that portion of the high court judgment that frowns on the 15 per cent cap on discounts on bouquet prices of TV channels.  

The Madras High Court, while upholding most of the TRAI tariff order issued middle of 2016 and challenged by both Star India and Vijay TV later in 2016 on grounds of overstepping of jurisdiction had struck down as arbitrary almost 18 months later the 15 per cent cap on bouquet prices.

With case finally disposed of by the Supreme Court earlier this year, upholding the high court’s views, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had issued a notification stating that India’s stakeholders of Cable and Broadcast industry  implement its tariff regime in phases and report on compliance.

Meanwhile existing bouquet rates declared by Broadcasters will be implemented.

For more information, please check Supreme Court of India (Record of Proceedings)

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