Decided on July 18,2012



B.S.VERMA, J. - (1.) HEARD.
(2.) BY means of this writ petition, the petitioners have sought a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondent nos. 1, 2 and 3 not to enforce U.P. Cinema (Regulation) Act 1955 and U.P. Cinema ( Regulation of exhibition by means of Video) Rules 1988 (for short 1988 Rules) on the local channel/video channel of the petitioner company cable operator, transmitting programmes such as self generated local programmes and local news from its control room through with the assistance of a video cassette recorder. The petitioners have also sought a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing the impugned show cause notice No. 200/Mano. Ka/Local Channel/2012-13 dated 29-06-2012 of the District Magistrate, Dehradun/respondent no.2 (Annexure-12 to the petition). Petitioners have further sought a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing the impugned show cause notice No. 203/Mano.Ka/Local Channel/2012-13 dated 2-7-2012 of the District Magistrate Dehradun/respondent no.2 (Annexure-1 to the writ petition). According to the petitioners, 1988 Rules are not applicable on the cable TV network, therefore, the authority had no power to impose additional licence fee and the authority concerned is also not competent to issue the impugned show cause notices. Learned Additional C.S.C. appearing on behalf of the respondent nos. 1 to 3 has contended that in the licence itself, there is condition no.3 thereby amount of Rs. 100/- per TV Screen additional annual licence fee shall be payable under Rule 17(2) of the 1988 Rules. The contention of the learned Additional C.S.C. is that 1988 Rules are applicable in the case of the petitioners, therefore, the petitioners are liable to pay additional fee @ Rs. 100/- per TV Screen.
(3.) LEARNED counsel for the petitioners, in reply, has contended that a similar controversy has been resolved by a Division Bench of this Court in Special Appeal No. 92 of 2010 Harish Malhotra Vs. District Magistrate Haridwar and another, decided on 9-9-2010, wherein it has been held that videography is generated for being displayed at the premises of the appellant, but they are displayed in screens outside the premises of the appellant. The said Rules (1988 Rules) do not contemplate what would be the licence fee in relation to such display of video. Since Rule 17(2) of the said Rules does not encompass a situation of the nature dealt with herein and the said Rule imposes a liability to pay a fee, requiring the same to be construed strictly, by applying the provisions contained in the said Rule, the appellant cannot be fastened with a liability, which is not contemplated in the said Rule. The matter requires scrutiny. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, 50% amount of the impugned recovery shall remain stayed till the next date of listing. The remaining 50% amount be deposited by the petitioners within a period of two weeks from today before the authority concerned. (Interim Relief Application is disposed of.) The respondents may file their counter affidavits within a period of four weeks. List thereafter.;

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