Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to give more time to the central government to implement the Conditional Access System (CAS) for viewing satellite television channels in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
A division bench comprising Justice Vijender Jain and Justice SN Aggarwal rejected a plea by the government seeking six months' time for its implementation.
It directed the government to inform the court by July 5 how it would implement the CAS and what it had done so far.
The court also refused to waive off the fine of Rs 100,000 imposed on the information and broadcasting ministry for 'unfairly compelling' the petitioners (cable operators) to approach the court and for providing invalid or debatable defence for the delay in the CAS implementation.
The high court had directed the government to implement the CAS in March.
To avail the technology, viewers are required to buy a set-top box, costing between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000, after which they can choose channels for viewing and pay accordingly.
The government had notified the implementation of the CAS with effect from Sep 1, 2003, after making an amendment in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995.