Telecom tribunal TDSAT has directed the government not to encash bank guarantees of Reliance Communications and Reliance Telecom over the penalty that was imposed on the Anil Ambani group firms for allegedly not having proper subscriber verification.
The TDSAT bench,headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha,asked the Department of Telecom not to encash the cheque till July 4,the next date of hearing.
The tribunal also directed the government to file replies over the petitions filed by the two ADAG group firms.
DoT had imposed a penalty of Rs 58 lakh on RTL and Rs 9 lakh on RCom on March 22 for the alleged violation of their licence agreements clauses on customer verification.
The matter pertains to the Madhya Pradesh Circle,where the Telecom Enforcement,Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cell of DoT visited the installations of the Rcom and RTL.
They took the screen shots of 150 numbers from their internal system.
According to ADAG group firms,in August,TERM cell had asked them to provide CAF (Customer Acquisition Form) details of the numbers.
Seven months later,RCom and RTL got penalty notice from DoT. According to DoT,RTL failed in 116 cases and Rcom in 18 cases to comply the verification clause.
The firms submitted that they were not given any chance by the DoT to put their views and was a “violation of natural justice”.
Moreover,the DoT did not even issued show cause notice before imposing penalty. It had also not shared the report of the TERM cell based on which the action was taken.
According to the operators,the penalty was for pre activated SIM card numbers,which was not the case.
“The said penalty demand showed a clear non application of mind in as much as the respondent (DoT) stated that penalty was calculated by correct graded scale where as there was no such calculation required,the present penalty being for alleged pre activated CAFs,” submitted RCcom in its plea.
The operators raised the issue with DoT by writing mails,but no proper reply came,claimed RCom and RTL in their petitions.
The ADAG group firms have requested the tribunal to “quash and set aside the impugned demand notice dated March 22,2012”.