Decided on March 14,2019

C Eshwar Raju Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


P Naveen Rao, J. - (1.)Heard Sri Pavan Kumar Pujari, learned counsel for petitioners, Sri K.Lakshman, learned Assistant Solicitor General for respondents 1 and 2, and Sri A.Tulsi Raj Gokul, learned counsel for respondents 3 and 4.
(2.)This Writ Petition is filed praying to grant the following relief:
"to issue an appropriate writ or order or direction more particularly one in the nature of writ of Mandamus declaring the action of the 2nd respondent in issuing and implementing the impugned information note to the press (Press release No.121/2018) dated 18.12.2018 without giving any opportunity to submit representations covered in the impugned press release note to submit petitioners difficulties in practical manner, which is contrary and against natural justice, without giving any opportunity by benefiting the 3rd and 4th respondents is illegal, in violation of principals of natural justice, as such the petitioners are deeply aggrieved by the Second Proviso to Regulation 12 (3), Proviso to Regulation 12 (7) and the ratio of 55:45 specified in Clause 12.1 "Standard Interconnection Agreement" (SIA) in Schedule-VI of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Inter Connection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017 (No.1 of 2017) issued by the 2nd respondent by which a default revenue sharing ratio between the Multi System Operator (MSO) and Local Cable Operator (LCO) of 55:45 would be applicable in case the parties fail to execute "Model Interconnection Agreement" (MIA) in Schedule-V of the said Regulations which is arbitrary, against the nature justice, as a result by Articles 14, 19 (1) (g) and Article 21 & 300A of Indian Constitution, consequently may be remand the matter before the 2nd respondent for fresh disposal, with liberty to this petitioner to appear and produce documentary evidence along with written arguments before the 2nd respondent, by setting aside the impugned information note to the press (Press Release No.121/2018) dated 18122018 and pass such other order or orders as the Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case."

(3.)Petitioners claim to hold licence to operate and to provide Cable TV services in different areas in Medchal - Malkajgiri District and in Secunderabad by receiving Cable TV Channel signals from the respondents 3 and 4. Petitioners are Local Cable Operators (LOCs) and respondents 3 and 4 are Multi System Operators (MSOs). This Writ Petition is filed aggrieved by the information note to the Press (Press Release No.121/2018), dated 18.12.2018. In paragraph-2 of the affidavit filed in support of the Writ Petition, petitioners set out their grievance necessitating to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Reading of the prayer itself would show that though petitioners claim to be aggrieved by the second proviso to Regulation 12 (3), proviso to Regulation 12 (7), prescribing the ratio of 55:45 specified in Clause-12.1 of Standard Interconnection Agreement (SIA) in Schedule-VI of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017, more particularly principle of default revenue sharing ratio between Multi System Operators and Local Cable Operators, but petitioners prayed to set aside the Press Release dated 18.12.2018 on the ground that it was issued without prior notice and therefore violates principle of natural justice, and seek to remand the matter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for fresh disposal, with liberty to petitioners to appear and produce documentary evidence along with written arguments and to afford opportunity before issuing such Press Release. Though grounds urged extensively point out their grievances on various aspects of regulations mentioned in the prayer, but relief is not sought against validity of those regulations. In other words, grievance is confined to the release of Press Note without prior notice.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.