Private telcos file caveat in SC and HC on 3G roaming

Private telcos file caveat in SC and HC on 3G roaming

Apprehending that the government may appeal against the TDSAT order which dismissed its plea that the telecom tribunal has no jurisdiction over the intra-circle 3G roaming pacts, private operators have filed caveat in both the Supreme Court as well as the High Court.

By filing the caveat, the operators have ensured that the courts would pass no orders on the Department of Telecom (DoT) plea without hearing their counsel, or get an ex-parte relief.

The government had questioned role of TDSAT which had on December 24 given a lifeline to telecom operators, by entertaining their plea during the scheduled winter vacations and asking DoT not to take any coercive step against them.

A day prior to that the government had asked five telecom operators to stop inter-circle roaming on 3G bandwidth within 24 hours.

It was challenged before TDSAT. The operators are -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata Tele Services.

Confirming the move, one of the counsels representing the operators told PTI that chances are that DoT many move the High Court, which is already hearing a similar issue in a PIL.

Last week, a bench headed by the Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri had adjourned the petition on 3G roaming to the second week of February.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had on January 20 dismissed DoT plea questioning its jurisdiction to decide on 3G roaming dispute.
It had also directed the five operators to hand over copies of their 3G roaming agreements to DoT with a rider that the government maintain its confidentiality.
DoT had questioned the jurisdiction of TDSAT saying that the tribunal has no power to look into the licence terms and conditions entered among the operators and the DoT.
TDSAT had already directed DoT not to take any coercive action against the private telecom operators on 3G roaming.

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