DAS Phase III implementation was an uphill battle marred by date extensions and litigations
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | December 9, 2016
Dismissing all the stay orders and cases interfering with the implementation of DAS III, the Delhi High Court on December 7, 2016 said DAS IV will be rolled out by January 1, 2017.
DAS Phase III implementation was an uphill battle. While originally the date for implementing DAS III was slated for September 30, 2014, it was extended to December 31, 2015 by a notification issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
In a press statement on behalf of the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), Punit Goenka, President, IBF, said, “We welcome all stakeholders into the dawn of a new era and hope that the digitisation bandwagon continues unabated in Phase IV as well, which is to be implemented from January 1, 2017.”
The MIB, the IBF and its members, MSOs and various other stakeholders worked hard to prepare the ground for the eventual sunset of analogue in the largest part of the country to date. It was challenging, with initial hiccups in the form of unavailability of set-top-boxes (STBs), pending applications for MSO registrations.
“When we thought the worst was behind us, we were hit by a flurry of litigations, all filed within a space of 15 days beginning with December 30, 2015 in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Stays were obtained on implementation for periods of up to two months. Soon, the fire spread to 18 other High Courts with over 50 petitions being filed,” said Girish Srivastava, Secretary General, IBF.
IBF, supported by its members and external legal experts, worked hard in transferring all matters to the Delhi High Court as per the order passed on April 1, 2016. Then, IBF lawyers set about the task of getting the registries of each of the High Courts to transfer the matters to the Delhi High Court. The first four in the batch of matters came up in May and the rest were listed in August 2016, on account of intervening vacations.