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The Madras High Court today ordered issue of notice to Arasu cableand Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on a plea filed by Makkal Tholai Thodarpu Kuzhumam Limited (Makkal TV).

The petition sought a direction to Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited (TACTV) to restore telecasting the channel ‘MAKKAL TV’ through its cable network in S-4 frequency under the same category of Free-to-Air Channel throughout Tamil Nadu forthwith.

TACTV, which was set up with an objective of producing high-quality cable TV signals to the public at an affordable cost, categorized channels in three different brands namely mid, super-hyper band and some other channels as pay channels.

The channel was shown at S4 Frequency which was categorized as mid-band from 2011 and transmitted through multi-system operators to viewers. But transmission was stopped by the TACTV on March 31 midnight without disclosing any reason, the petition said.

Challenging the stoppage, the channel in its petition submitted that TACTV’s act was “motivated, unilateral, illegal and arbitrary in nature.”

It alleged that TACTV Act violated Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India guaranteeing Freedom of Expression and Right to carry on business.

TACTV, being a statutory authority, is under legal obligation to discharge its duty and it should have treated all TV channels as equal and should not have singled out each channel according to its whims and fancies, it said.

The channel submitted that it invested huge money for carrying on telecasting and also entered into several contracts with third parties and advertisement agencies and if suddenly the telecast was disconnected, it would cause exorbitant monetary loss which cannot be compensated in terms of money.

It sought a direction to TACTV to restore telecasting ‘Makkal TV’ channel programmes through its cable network forthwith in S-4 mid-frequency as it was shown previously.

Justice S.Vaidyanathan, whose Bench was specially set up to hear the petition even though being a High Court holiday, ordered notice to TACTV and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

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