Dish TV gets demand notice of Rs 4,164.05 cr from government for licence fee

New Delhi: Direct-to-home operator Dish TV on Friday said it has received a demand notice from the government for payment of Rs 4,164.05 crore, which includes licence fee and interest.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) through a letter dated December 24, 2020 asked the Essel group firm to pay the said sum towards licence fee from the period from the date of issuance of DTH licence till the financial year 2018-19, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The MIB has intimated that basis the accounts of the company and payment made by it towards licence fee from the period from the date of issuance of DTH license till FY 2018-19, “an amount of Rs 4,164.05 crore is payable by the company and has directed the company to remit” the amount within a period of 15 days, the filing said.

The said amount includes the license fee payable and accrued interest thereon, it added.

The company said it is studying the communication of the MIB to determine next steps.

The DTH license fee matter has already been through several rounds of litigation, the final outcomes of which are yet to be argued and concluded, the company said adding it will update the exchanges in the event of any material developments that take place in relation to this.

Dish TV had received DTH licence in October 2003.
The MIB has in its letter also mentioned that the amount is further subject to verification and audit and the outcome of various court cases pending before the TDSAT, the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir at Jammu and the Supreme Court of India, in the matter of DTH licence fee.

According to Dish TV, the ministry had issued a demand notice in the year 2014 for the licence fee pertaining from the date of issuance of DTH licence till FY 2012–13.

“The said demand notice was challenged by the company before the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and the said demand has been stayed by the TDSAT, which stay continues to be in force,” it added.

Further, a petition by the company is also pending before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir where inter alia the quantum / applicability of license fee and imposition of interest has been challenged by it.

“In view of the orders of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and High Court of Kerala, order of the TDSAT and pendency of writs before the Supreme Court of India, the company does not concur with the demand dated December 24, 2020 raised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” it said.