Disputes concerning broadcasting and telecom were brought under a single tribunal because the world is moving towards convergence and mechanisms can also be considered to expedite their early resolution, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
The minister’s comments came at a conference on adjudication and regulation of convergence after the chair of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, Justice Aftab Alam said the cases coming to the institution were rising by the day, especially those in the domain of broadcasting.
“I will certainly bring in to his notice,” Jaitley said, referring to Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad about the need to consider some alternative arrangements to deal with rising number of cases – both before the tribunal and the courts.
In this regard, the finance minister also wondered if the tribunal can itself have a mechanism for small cases.
The tribunal was set up after amending the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act in 2000 to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals to protect the interests of both consumers and the service providers in the telecom sector – but broadcasting has also come in the ambit as a related industry.
Although the Jaitley is himself a lawyer and so is Ravi Shankar Prasad, he took a dig at its practitioners and said they had managed to create divided authorities to deal with issues, even though the legislations were framed with the best of intentions.
He called upon the stakeholders to come up with suggestions.