Kerala High Court: Anu Sivaraman, J., dismissed a writ petition seeking directions from the Court to direct regulating authority, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to admit complaints against the respondent. 

The present case deals with disputes between two service providers of TV channels wherein the petitioner seeks from the present court directions to the third respondent, TRAI to consider the complaints presented by the petitioner against the other service provider.

The counsels representing the petitioner, S. Vinod Bhat and Kum Anagha Lakshmy Raman, submitted that they had entered into a formal agreement for placement and marketing support of the petitioner’s channels on the distribution network of the fifth respondent. It was submitted that TRAI had rolled out a regulatory framework for the service providers regulating all aspects of interconnection agreements between the service providers and the fourth respondent (being the other service provider) was duty-bound to comply with such regulation and amend the agreement accordingly. However, the fourth respondent refused to do so and the petitioner also sought the intervention of TRAI for compelling the fourth respondent to execute the agreement which was rejected by TRAI.

The third respondent submitted its contentions through a statement. It contended that the appropriate authority for resolve the dispute is Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and not TRAI. 

The Court upon perusal of the records and the circumstances stated that TRAI is empowered to make regulations with regard to interconnections between service providers, as it is the regulating authority and in case of disputes between the service providers, it is for the TDSAT to consider the matter.[Mathrubhumi Publishing and Printing Company Ltd. v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 984, decided on 04-03-2020]

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