New Delhi: A cable operators` body moved the
Delhi High Court on Friday challenging an ordinance promulgated
last month for achieving complete digitalisation of cable
television networks in the country by 2015.
Cable Operators United Front (COUF), in its petition to a
division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri, sought the
court`s direction, restraining the government from enforcing
the Cable TV Networks (Reg) Amendment Ordinance 2011.
COUF challenged the ordinance, promulgated on October 25
on the basis of a recommendation by Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India (TRAI), terming it as "unconstitutional"
and contending it violated the cable operators` fundamental
right to carry on their business and profession.
It also termed the ordinance as "arbitrary and illegal",
contending it had been promulgated in a haste to avoid the
scrutiny by Parliament.
COUF pointed out to the court that a huge investment to
the tune of Rs 10,000 crore is required for complete
digitalisation of the cable TV network, which the cable
operators are not capable of doing.
They said the ordinance cast a financial burden not only
on them but on consumer and TV viewers as well as
digitalisation of TV networks would require an initial
investment of Rs 2,500 to install a digital signals` decoding
box, besides a hefty monthly bill.
It further said digitalisation of the cable TV requires
transmitters, encoders, decoders, modulators, servers and huge
space which need huge investments.
It also said there was no facility in India to produce
such equipments and hence it would also lead to huge outgo of