Delhi HC warns of criminal prosecution against ESPN
(15 jan '09, 12.12 p.m.)

The Delhi High Court warned ESPN of launching criminal prosecution if the global broadcaster failed to comply with the telecom watchdog TRAI’s directions on tariffs charged from DTH operators for services and directed to file the reply within two days.

Justice S Muralidhar ordered ESPN to file its reply regarding the amended Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) before the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) till January 16, as the channel has failed to comply with its assurance given to the Court on November 25, 2008 to follow the regulators directions.

Earlier, the Court had directed ESPN and its Managing Director R C Venkateush and five other company officials to comply with the watch dog’s direction and had stayed the criminal proceedings against them.

However, the court was not satisfied with ESPN’s position and directed it to submit the RIO before TRAI within two days.

Justice Muralidhar directed ESPN to comply court orders at any cost as the criminal prosecution was stayed only on condition that the channel will follow the regulator’s order on channel pricing.

The court did not agree with the ESPN’s stand saying it has complied with the order.

The TRAI had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to vacate the stay on criminal proceedings against them as the broadcaster had failed to comply the court’s earlier order on following the TRAI’s directions on pricing.

 

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