The Delhi High Court on 24 December sought a response of the Centre (MIB) and six DTH operators on a PIL seeking to restrain direct-to-home (DTH) service providers from carrying any channel or value added service which are not registered with or permitted by the government.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice P S Teji issued the notice to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as six DTH providers - Bharti Telemedia Ltd, Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun Direct TV, Reliance Big TV and Bharat Business Channel and sought their responses by March 4, 2015.
The court passed the order on the plea of NGO Media Watch-India (MWI) which has alleged that DTH service providers carry self-promotion advertisements in violation of uplinking and downlinking guidelines.
It has also alleged in its petition, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, that value added services like 'movie on demand' or games are provided without specific licence from the ministry. The NGO has said that even the FM radio channels are being illegally provided and has sought orders restraining the DTH operators from providing these services.
The petition has contended that the ministry till date instead of taking action against these entities has been playing the role of a spectator while "statutory guidelines are being flouted with impunity by the private DTH operators".
It may be recollected that TRAI had recently issues a consultation on regulating Platform services of service provider including MSOs Cable Operators and DTH operators and has also given the recommendation on 19 November 2014. Ministry has not yet accepted these recommendations.