Advocate prays HC to declare Govt Cable TV tender illegal

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Chennai, Dec 11 (UNI) A Chennai based Advocate moved the Madras High Court to declare illegal the tender notification issued by the Tamil Nadu Cable TV Corporation calling for the lease of multi-system operators (MSOs) in various cities of the state.

R Suresh Kumar in his Public Interest Litigation(PIL) submitted that the state government under the guise of exercising its commercial activity, indulged in legally forbidden matters related to exploitation of Cable Television Network through leasing without doing on its own.

Mr Kumar said the state government was attempting to create a monopoly and trying to prevent the existing operators in the Cable Television Network, both in the city and outskirts from concentrating on their business viably by using their executive power indiscriminately.

The Petitioner also submitted that the Government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited was incorporated on the policy decision taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu, vide GO Ms 22 dated August 13, 2007 and was incorporated under the Companies Act 1956. The object of the said company is that the government should start a Cable TV Corporation, as MSO, within and outside Chennai, to continue the TV operation, he added.

The tender notification published in newspapers dated November 30, 2007, called for sealed tenders on leasing MSO's for a period of six months. The Union government is issuing license to MSO's, specifically, stipulating a condition that the registration certificate is not transferable, the petitioner submitted.

The Petitioner also contended that Cable Television Network was a business regulated by a Statute of the Centre under a licensing scheme and it was not a free business without licence. Hence, the petitioner prayed to declare the tender notification as illegal and ultravires to the provisions of Cable Television Network Act and the Cable Television Network Rules 1994.

The Petitioner also sought an Interim Stay for the tender process.

The PIL came up for hearing today before the first bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Mr Justice, V Ramasubramaian.

The bench, however, declined to grant a stay and posted the matter to December 17.

UNI

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