HITZ FM RADIO INDIA PVT. LTD. AND ORS. Vs. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION & BROADCASTING
LAWS(TD)-2015-3-3
TELECOM DISPUTES SETTLEMENT AND APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
Decided on March 05,2015

Hitz Fm Radio India Pvt. Ltd. And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Kuldip Singh, Member - (1.) THE petitioners hold licenses granted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, for setting up FM Radio Stations in Kolkata. The dispute between the parties is with regard to the quantum of license fees. As per the petitioners, they are entitled to a migration from a fixed fee regime to a revenue share regime as per the policy of the respondent for phase -II. As per the petitioners, they have made all the required payments and met all the conditions in this regard. The petitioners have also prayed for quashing the revocation notices dated November 22, 2005 issued by the respondent for alleged violation of some conditions of the licenses. Since facts of the two cases are similar, they are being disposed of by this common order.
(2.) FOLLOWING the policy of Government of India to open FM broadcasting to private players in 1999, the respondent invited bids from prospective parties for setting up FM radio stations in the country. The petitioners were successful in securing the bids for setting up and operating private FM radio stations in Kolkata. A Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) was executed on 30.10.2000 and came into effect from 2.5.2003. As per the GOPA, the petitioners were to pay a license fee of Rs. 1 crore for the first year of license and the same was to be increased by 15% every subsequent year for the term of the license. The GOPA was to come into force from the date of issue of WPC (Wireless and Planning Coordination wing of DOT) license to the petitioners. The petitioners were also required to provide to the respondent a Bank Guarantee for an amount of Rs. 1 crore valid for a period of 10 years. The first year license fee was paid on 29.8.2002.
(3.) ON 5.8.2003, a letter was sent by Kolkata FM Radio Consortium to the respondent referring to some financial difficulties being faced by the licensees. It was requested in the letter that the license fee should be payable with effect from operationalization of the radio stations and till a decision in the matter was taken, second year license fee be kept in abeyance. This letter was acknowledged on 29.8.2003 by the respondent in which it was stated that their request was under active consideration and that demand for license fee for second year shall be kept in abeyance till a decision was taken in this regard.;


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