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SC defers final hearing on NTO 2.0 to February 2022

Supreme Court defers final hearing on NTO 2.0

The Supreme Court has deferred the final hearing on the NTO 2.0 case to the second week of February. The apex court was supposed to deliver its verdict today on a batch of petitions filed against the Bombay High Court order regarding the implementation of the new tariff order or NTO 2.0.
Under NTO 2.0, TRAI has reduced the cap on the MRP of individual channels, which can be part of any bouquet, to Rs 12 from Rs 19 per month.

In September, the TRAI filed its counter-affidavit in the NTO 2.0 case in the Supreme Court. This is in response to Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation’s (IBDF) petition wherein it has challenged the Bombay High Court order that upholds NTO 2.0, barring the second proviso: the a-la-carte rates of each pay channel that are part of a bouquet shall not exceed three times the average rate of a pay channel of the bouquet of which such a pay channel is a part.

Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has challenged this. The IBDF has called the Bombay HC’s order “erroneous” and “liable to be set aside”. The Foundation has stated that the Bombay HC order has “incorrectly read” into Article 19(2) by applying an additional requirement of public interest in the interpretation of a broadcaster’s right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a).

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