Not Necessary to Pass any order- Bombay HC in Plea against Boycott Call against Republic TV

LI NETWORK

The Bombay High Court in a Plea Filed by Republic TV “we do not deem it necessary to pass any further orders”.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by Republic TV’s parent company ARG Outlier Media Private Limited against Cable Network Operators, for not stopping the broadcast of the TV channels namely Republic TV and Republic TV Bharat after Shiv Sena allegedly sent a threatening letter to various cable network operators to stop airing the petitioner’s channels or face public agitation.

The Bombay High Court Division Bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Milind Jadhav heard the writ petition and observed Shiv Cable Sena is not a statutory authority and the communication issued by it has, therefore, no effect in law. Court noted that as for the intimidating letter written on September 10, the recipient petitioners have “their remedies of approaching law enforcement agencies like any other citizen.”

Mr. Sakhardande, Senior Advocate for the Petitioners submits that as regards the dispute between the Cable Network Operators and the Petitioners, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) is the appropriate authority. However, as per the notification issued by it, it is not functioning till 18 September 2020. The Senior Advocate submited that because of this position; this Court should entertain the Petition and issue necessary directions to the Respondents – State and Union of India to ensure smooth broadcast of the TV channels.  

Advocate Jyoti Chavan, AGP appearing for the State of Maharashtra submits that the Petitioners’ “grievance is against private entities and the Writ Petition is not an appropriate remedy, and the Petitioners can file a Civil Suit, besides the other available statutory remedies”.

Bombay High Court Bench states – “We have considered the rival contentions. The Respondent No.5 Shiv Cable Sena is not a statutory authority to either supersede the license granted to the Petitioners or to interfere in the contractual/statutory relationship between the Petitioners and the Cable Network Operators. The communication issued by it has, therefore, no effect in law”.  

The writ Petition is Disposed of.