Airtel, Idea, Vodafone’s pleas against DoT orders transferred to TDSAT
Pleas of Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone filed against the Department of Telecommunication's (DoT's) orders asking them to stop offering 3G roaming service in areas where they don't have licenses for the same have been transferred by the Delhi High Court to the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
Confirming the move, Justice V K Jain said, "The court is informed that Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) is now functioning and hence, the petitions are transferred. The matters be listed at 11 AM on August 8 before the registrar of TDSAT."
Mr. Jain, however, also declared that interim orders would remain in force till the time TDSAT first hears the pleas.
Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone welcomed the wrath of DoT by entering into agreement with one another to offer 3G services in circles where they do not have 3G licences. The DoT not only asked them to stop offering 3G services but also slapped them with hefty fines.
Bharti Airtel was slapped with a fine of Rs 350 crore, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular were asked to pay fines of Rs 550 crore and Rs 300 crore, respectively, for offering 3G services outside their licenced circles, saying such agreement were unlawful.
The Supreme Court provided some relief to the three telecom firms by directing the DoT not to take any coercive action against the firms for the time being.
Meanwhile, the companies challenged the DoT orders in the Delhi High Court, which transferred the pleas to TDSAT.