10 May 2019
TDSAT holds that right to hold an audit once in A calendar year is a valuable right given to the parties and that cannot be disturbed
That the Petition titled Multireach Media Pvt Ltd  vs. Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd was filed under Section 14 read with Section 14A of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 1997 seeking directions for restraining the Respondent from giving effect to the disconnection notices issued by it to the Petitioner. The Respondent submitted before the Hon’ble Bench that the MSR being sent  by the Petitioner to the Respondent is in incorrect format. Moreover channels which are no longer in operation has been also showed in the MSR report provided by the Petitioner. The real dispute in the present Petition was for determination is whether the respondent as a distributor has the right, after communicating its reasons in writing to the distributor/petitioner, to audit the subscribers management system etc. in terms of Regulation 15 of Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017. The Respondent submitted before the Hon’ble Bench that the proviso to Regulations 15(2) empowers the authority (TRAI) that it may empanel auditors for the purpose of such audit and it shall be mandatory for a broadcaster to cause audit from any one of such empanelled auditors. It was further submitted that the proviso only enables the authority and hence, in case there is no panel prepared by the authority, the right of distributor to hold audit when required under the provisions of Regulations 15(2) cannot be taken away by any implication.

On  03.05.2019 noting the submission of the Respondent Hon’ble Bench was please to pass the following order:

…….We find merit in the aforesaid submissions advanced on behalf of the respondent. In our considered view, the right to hold an audit once in a calendar year is a valuable right given to the parties and that cannot be disturbed by interpreting the proviso as suggested. For the present, the respondent will raise provisional bills on the basis of subscribers reports submitted and payments for the present may be made by the petitioner as per its own figures within two days from today. In case, such payment is not made then this interim relief granting protection to the petitioner shall stand vacated. If such payment is made, then the respondent shall not give effect to the impugned notice of disconnection until further orders. However, the respondent will be at liberty to send its team for holding audit on any date after seven days from today after due intimation to the petitioner. Such intimation should be communicated within two days from today. It goes without saying that the petitioner shall render all possible assistance so that the audit may be conducted at an early date in the spirit of the provisions in the regulations…….

Arguments on behalf of the Respondent were advanced by K&T Law Offices.