Govt using pressure tactics & police to shut down operations: Ortel

Bhubaneswar: Ortel Communications, on Saturday, alleged that Odisha government is trying to shut down its city based head office using pressure tactics and police.

A day after Sony Television Network levelled allegations of contract violation against Ortel, a team of Commissionerate Police led by ACP and Inspector-in-Charge of Chandrasekharpur police conducted raid on the Ortel office headquarters today.

The police team was also accompanied by an official of Sony Network. Surprisingly, neither the police team nor the official of Sony Television Network could furnish any satisfactory answer on what basis the raid was conducted.

As per reports, Sony Television Network has levelled allegation of streaming of its channel by Ortel despite expiry of an agreement.

Basing on such allegations, police have registered a case under IPC sections 420, 34 and section 63 and 69 of Copyright Act.

However, Ortel Telecommunication authorities have refuted the allegations.

Ortel Public Relations Officer, Bijay Kumar Swain stated that, “After expiry of contract with Sony Network, we have never streamed their channels on our platform. The allegations are completely false and fabricated. As there was a two-month moratorium period for negotiation and renewal of contract, the authorities of Sony Network demanded more money from us for the renewal of contract which we refused. Later we sent a mail citing that we have already officially stopped streaming their channels.”

Legal experts too have criticised the way police raided Ortel Communications head office in the name of investigation basing on a complaint in absence of any valid reason.

“The Supreme Court has clearly mentioned that until probe and establishment of the case is done, police cannot execute any kind of arrest or seizure. If the actions are done for the sake of vindication at the behest of someone, then police would be answerable. It might also get into trouble later on,” said senior lawyer, Madhumadhav Jena.

It is pertinent to note that this is not the first time that an attempt has been made to target Ortel Communications.

Earlier on April 26, the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) authorities sealed two offices of the company citing violation of fire safety norms and trade license.

Despite stay order of the Orissa High Court, the Berhampur city administration did not reopen the offices for nearly 23 days citing non availability of a certified copy of the court order.

After Berhampur, it is widely being discussed that a conspiracy is now being hatched to stop Ortel’s operation from its headquarters at Chandrasekharpur office in Bhubaneswar.