A division bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Milind Jadhav heard a writ petition dealing with the issue of prohibiting cable operators from airing Republic TV and Republic Bharat.
Facts of the Case
A communication was issued by the political party Shiv Sena to various Cable operators on 10th September 2020 to stop airing the broadcast of the News TV Channel of the petitioners namely Republic TV and Republic TV Bharat.
The council on behalf of the petitioners submitted that though a dispute of such kind should be entertained by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), it was not functioning till 18th September 2020, and therefore, this court had the jurisdiction to entertain the present petition.
This argument was rebutted by the counsel on behalf of the government by stating that since the grievance of the petitioners was against a private entity, they should approach an appropriate forum and not through a writ petition.
The respondent no. 5 i.e. Shiv Sena is not a statutory authority, and therefore the communication they passed to cable operators to stop airing news channels does not hold any value under law. Moreover, if the cable operators breach the contractual relationship with the petitioner, then the petitioner has the remedy of approaching an appropriate forum.
The court disposed of the writ petition without giving any orders in the case and asked the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority if the cable operators stop airing channel, which they haven’t done till now.
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