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Supreme Court to hear landing page matter on January 4

A bench comprising Justice M R Shah and Justice C T Ravikumar is set to begin hearing the appeal filed by TRAI against the 2019 TDSAT judgement on landing pages

The Supreme Court of India has listed the landing page matter for hearing on January 4.

TRAI had filed an appeal in the apex court against May 2019 judgement by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on landing pages.

The matter between TRAI and Bennett Coleman Co. Ltd. and others will be put up on January 4 before a bench comprising Justice M R Shah and Justice C T Ravikumar.

TDSAT had set aside TRAI’s direction on the landing page issue wherein all the broadcasters and distributors of television channels were directed to restrain from placing any registered satellite television channel (whose TV rating was measured by BARC India) on the landing LCN or landing channel or boot up screen.

On July 30, 2020, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Arun Misha, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari directed that TRAI shall not enforce Landing Page Regulations/ directions against the respondents and other similarly situated members of the Association.

However, subject to the aforesaid, the operation of the impugned judgment (TDSAT judgement) shall remain stayed, the apex court added.

This means that the Supreme Court rejected TDSAT's judgement on the issue of TRAI’s power, except for landing pages.

TDSAT order said that landing page is not a part of interconnection regulations and TRAI does not have powers to issue orders restraining cable operators from carrying landing pages. Supreme Court in its interim order was convinced of the powers of TRAI but kept the landing page issue for further hearing.

“TRAI being the appellant will be heard first in the matter. Then the respondents, BCCL and others, will give a rejoinder. The entire process may take three to six months before the Supreme Court pronounces any final order in this matter,” said a legal counsel of one of the parties.

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