Affected parties comprising of cable operators, multi-system operators
(MSOs) politicians, broadcasters amongst others are hoping that
the HC delivers its verdict tomorrow - exactly two and a half months
before the conditional access system (CAS) gets implemented in metros
(14 July 2003).
Mumbai Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) lawyer AM Saraogi started
off proceedings by submitting photographs of the banners displayed
by one of the key petitioners Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) member
of parliament Kirit Somaiya across Mumbai city. Saraogi stated that
the banners wrongly mentioned that the HC had given a stay order
to cable operators forbidding increase in cable charges. Saraogi
argued that the consumers had been misguided and many of them refused
to pay cable charges to the operators. This problem of poor receipts
and collections percolated to all levels of the cable trade - from
last mile operators to MSOs to broadcasters.
BJP MP Somaiya's lawyer CD Mehta then stated that he had not received
the affidavit filed by lawyer Ahmad Abdi, Consumer Action Network
(CAN) president. Abdi had paved the way for today's hearing by producing
evidence that cable related disconnections were happening throughout
the city. Abdi wanted the chief justice to expedite the case in
the best interests of the affected parties. Abdi also countered
by saying that Mehta had not served relevant copies despite being
one of the main petitioners.
On hearing the arguments, chief justice Thakker and R Chandrachud
agreed to grant time to the lawyers to complete the formalities
and postponed the hearing to tomorrow.
Await more action at Room no 52 of the Mumbai High Court as a multitude
of lawyers representing 20-odd respondents/petitioners put forth
different arguments to elicit a favourable judgement.
HC postpones cable case
hearing to 23 April
HC to hear affected parties
on 4 April