The Bombay high court on Wednesday rejected the cable operators' plea to extend the deadline of October 31 for digitisation of cable television network.
The petition, filed by Bhawani Rajesh Cable and Digitech Services Private Limited, one of the largest multi-system operators (MSO) in Mumbai, sought extension of the deadline by four months.
"In our view, the Union government has given sufficient time for compliance," the division bench of justice DY Chandrachud and justice Rajesh Ketkar said.
"Some inconvenience is inevitable in the enforcement of any new regime," the judges said, noting that the new regime had been introduced to provide quality services and prevent loss of revenue by under-reporting.
The court also said the first notification making the Digital Addressable System (DAS) mandatory was issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in November 2011 and it had set a deadline of June 30, 2012.
The deadline was furthur extended to October 31, 2012 at the request of cable operators.
The bench also took note of the fact that a substantial number - about 85% - of viewers in Mumbai had already shifted to the new regime and an adequate number of set-top boxes was available in the market.
The petitioners approached the court contending that they were facing practical difficulties in implementing the DAS notification.
But, additional solicitor general Kevic Setalvad said the petitioner MSO had delayed installation of set-top boxes during the extended time of four months and therefore deserved no relief from the court.