Direct-to-home operator Dish TV on Friday said it had received a demand notice from the government for payment of ₹4,164.05 crore, which included the licence fee and interest. The company said that the Union ministry had provided 15 days to remit the amount.
“We would like to inform that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting vide its communication dated December 24, 2020, has intimated the company that basis the accounts of the Company and payment made by the Company towards license fee from the period from the date of issuance of DTH License till Financial Year 2018-19, an amount of ₹4,164.05 crores is payable by the company,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, (MIB) asked the Essel Group firm to pay the said amount towards licence fee from the date of issuance of DTH licence till the financial year 2018-19, the company said. The MIB has, in its letter, also said the amount was further subject to verification and audit and the outcome of pending court cases in the matter of DTH licence fee.
“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 operator said.
Dish TV had received DTH licence in October 2003.
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 the imposition of interest has been challenged by it,” it said.
“In view of the orders of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and High Court of Kerala, an 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.