In yet another breather to the Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal TDSAT) has deferred the hearing on their plea against govt decision to scrap 3G roaming till January 9.
The decision came after Department of Telecommunications (DoT) challenged the tribunal TDSAT’s jurisdiction in hearing the case related to 3G roaming services.
DoT will now present its views through an application and operators will respond to them.
The government is of the view that operators have violated certain terms and conditions of Cellular Mobile Telecom Service License and various terms and conditions of the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) dated 25.02.2010 for 3G/BWA Auction by forging 3G pacts between themselves.
The major telcos like Airtel, Vodafone, Airce, Tata and Idea last week moved the tribunal TDSAT challenging the DoT’s decision which called the 3G roaming pacts illegal.
The operators had reacted sharply saying the decision to scrap the 3G pacts was arbitrary and illogical. While TDSAT stayed the DoT’s decision, it deferred the hearing for January 3.
DoT in its affidavit to the tribunal took strong exception to telco’s criticism on the issue saying that they had suppressed certain facts and material documents regarding agreements while presenting its case before TDSAT. “They have not with clean hands”, the affidavit said.
“Inspite of the directions by this Tribunal vide order dated December 24, 2011, the petitioners (operators) have not submitted the intra-circle roaming agreements entered into with various telecom service providers. The present petition is liable to be dismissed on this ground alone", the affidavit further said.