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TDSAT: Till What Duration Of Time The Subscription Provider Can Claim Money?

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In the present case, India Cast Media Distribution (Petitioner) v. Mplex Networks Pvt. Ltd (Respondent), both parties entered into seven different agreements for seven different territories for the subscription for a certain amount of money which the respondent failed to pay to the petitioner. The Case of the petitioners is that they are entitled to the amount of money claimed in each of the petitions because there is no denying that parties were having an interconnect agreement during the relevant time; invoices were being raised as per subscription. As a result, to claim the outstanding dues, seven different petitions have been filed by the petitioner against the respondent as different contract took place between them for all the territories.

Arguments presented by the parties

The first defence taken by the respondent is that the agreements were terminated by the respondent for Hubli area on 5.11.2014 and for Rest of Karnataka (Rok) on 10.11.2014. To this plea, the petitioners gave a categorical answer that there was no indication that prior public notice of 20 days as required by the Regulations had been given by the respondent. The request for Hubli was accepted and deactivation of signals was done on 30.11.2014, for rest of the areas, there was the exchange of e-mails as evident from an e-mail dated 30.12.2014 and, therefore, deactivation had to be delayed and was effected on 8.1.2015. Therefore, the petitioner argued that their defence is without substance. The other defence raised by the respondent was that petitioners have omitted to consider and take into account a payment of Rs. 25 lakhs through two RTGSs dated 2nd and 9th July 2014, The petitioner claimed that the defence is dishonest because it has been well explained with the help of e-mails that payment of Rs. 25 lakhs was in respect of renewal of HCE agreement for the period 1.4.2014 to 31,3.2015 and was totally unconnected to the agreements which are subject matter of these petitions. E-mails of April, May and June 2014 clearly show that RTGSs transfers were made when a cheque for that amount was not presented on instructions of the respondent and the payments were for HCE agreements which as per rejoinder/MA related to the distribution of signals to certain commercial entities such as hotels. Therefore, the second defence of the respondent is out of substance.

Tribunal’s Ruling

The court in its order directed the respondent to pay the sum of Rs. 93,851.86 for the first petition, Rs. 619,775.13 for the second, Rs. 12,85,260.52 for third, Rs. 356,124.46 for fourth, Rs. 64,585.12 for fifth, Rs. 1,73,797.85 for sixth and Rs. 1,06,895,32 for seventh petition respectively within two months from today, failing which the petitions shall be entitled to realize the decretal amounts along with interest through appropriate execution proceeding. The petitioners have also claimed for interest @ 18% per annum. However, following recent judgments of the Tribunal in several similar petitions, interest is allowed but only @ 9% per annum for the period since the filing of the petitions, which will be treated to begin from April 2015 till the date of realization.

[googlepdf url=”…_vs_Mplex_Networks_Pvt._Ltd_on_12_December_2019_watermark.pdf” download=”Download Judgement PDF” width=”100%” height=”900″]

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