Vol.13 Issue 2 (2017)
TRAI Tariff Orders – Effect on Broadcasting Sector
Ameet B. Naik
Tony Benn, the veteran British Labour politician, as the then Minister of Technology in 1968, made the statement in the context of journalism. However, in the current Indian current scenario, the quote measures true with respect to the entire broadcasting sector, with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) scampering to regulate the third largest broadcasting market in the world.2 The article deals with the impact of the TRAI Tariff Orders passed from time to time to regulate the broadcasting sector. The author acknowledges TRAI’s competence to fixing tariff, as has been judicially held,3 but questions the extent to which the said power can be exercised, while taking into consideration the apparent conflict of the general statute establishing TRAI with the special enactment of Copyright Act, 1957, and also the apparent inconsistencies in delegated legislation of TRAI. The article is divided into three parts: first, the TRAI Act, 1997 and its Scheme, second, TRAI Tariff Orders, and third, the impact of the Tariff Order on the Broadcasting Sector and its conflict with the Copyright Act, 1957.
Ameet B. Naik is the Founder and Managing Partner of Naik Naik & Co., a leading full-service law firm based at Mumbai, India. He is an IP specialist and a litigator par excellence and has several landmark judgments to his credit. He is also a visiting faculty at the ILS Law College, Pune, and other leading law schools in India.