TDSAT gives govt 10 days to respond to Harvest TV name change petition

The channel wants to name itself as Tiranga TV.

MUMBAI: Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), on 30 January, granted 10 days’ time to the government to reply to a broadcasting petition filed by Veecon Media and Broadcasting Pvt Ltd, stating that the government has been ignoring its request to change the name and logo of Congress leader Kapil Sibal-backed Harvest TV, which it had made in September 2017.

The government had requested time to share details of ‘some show cause notices’ that have been ‘issued to Veecon Media and Broadcasting Pvt Ltd in respect of its shareholding as well as the use of the name “Harvest TV” for its channel’ and other ‘relevant facts’.

The tribunal has directed that till further orders, Veecon can run its news and current affairs channel under the same name, without any hindrance. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for 5 March 2019.

The decision comes just a day after Sibal accused the government of creating a hindrance for Harvest TV stating that the centre is trying to stifle the voice of dissent.

Presenting its case in front of TDSAT, Veecon had also shared that a show cause notice that was served to it on 29 January supports the apprehension that there may be strong efforts to prevent it from using the name “Harvest TV” and on account it may be prevented from running its TV channel under that name. It mentioned, “The respondent (Union of India) has not taken note of petitioner’s (Veecon’s) application filed for a change of name and logo of its channel to Tiranga TV”.

Kerala-based Christian devotional channel Harvest TV, owned by Bibi George Chacko, had earlier accused Veecon of ‘riding on the goodwill and reputation of Harvest TV’ by using its name and logo, the permission for which was granted for only two years that, which expired on 31 January 2018. Responding to the claim Veecon asserted that Chacko can get the issue decided only through an appropriate court or authority.

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