Having won the first round of the battle with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) over the 3G roaming pacts, telcos have now filled a caveat in Supreme Court as well as in the High Court fearing that the government might appeal against the TDSAT ruling that tribunal has no power to hear the telcos’ appeal on the issue.
With this the operators have made certain that the courts would pass no orders on the Department of Telecom (DoT) plea without hearing their counsel, or get an ex-parte relief.
Earlier DoT had challenged the TDSAT’s ruling which gave an interim relief to the telcos who sought the tribunal’s intervention on DoT’s order scarping the 3G roaming pacts between the operators.
The Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on January 19 had ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the telcos’ appeal against the DoT’ order to scrap the pacts.
The tribunal also reserved the order till February 2 when the next hearing comes up. A bench of Judges S.B. Sinha and P.K. Rastogi, however, directed the service operators to handover the roaming agreements copies to DoT.
The major telcos like Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, Tatas and Aircel had moved TDSAT on December 24 on DoT’s order to scrap the 3G roaming pacts between the private operators. The government in December last year had called these pacts illegal. The telcos in sharp reaction called the government’s move as arbitrary and illogical.
But as demanded by DoT, the tribunal felt that copies of agreements on 3G roaming to the DoT should be given to the government with telcos insisting that in such a case the government would have to maintain the confidentiality of these pacts. Earlier they had refused to share the copies of agreements with DoT.