Telecom tribunal asks DoT to refund Rs 5 cr to Tata Comm
New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT has directed refund of Rs 5 crore deposited by Tata Communications as a part of the Rs 50-crore penalty imposed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the company's alleged violation of ILD licence terms and conditions.
"The Respondent (DoT) is accordingly, directed to refund the amount within four weeks. If the amount is not refunded to the Respondent within this period, the Petitioner (Tata Communications) will be entitled to get an interest at the rate of 9 percent from that date," TDSAT said in last week's order.
The Tribunal had already quashed the Rs 50 crore penalty imposed on Tata Communications on September 28 this year after observing that the DoT allegedly did not follow proper procedure while penalising the company.
The DoT had slapped the penalty on Tata Communications for providing international private lease circuits to foreign company allegedly violating the terms and conditions of International Long Distance (ILD) licence.
TDSAT had also asked the DoT to pass a fresh order in accordance with rules and regulations by granting Tata Communications an opportunity of being heard.
However, following an interim order of December 12 last year passed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, the company had paid 10 percent of the Rs 50 crore penalty.
As the DoT this year again started the process by giving Tata Communications a chance to be heard before TDSAT, the Rs 5 crore deposited amount was not refunded. Following this, Tata Communications moved the TDSAT.
TDSAT said: "Whatever opportunity of hearing is being provided by the DoT to Tata Communications now the DoT will be passing a separate order in this regard. The proposed order, if any will be altogether a new order.
"Therefore, any amount deposited by Tata Communications in pursuance of this Tribunal's order is not related to the order passed by the DoT in future. Therefore, Tata Communications is entitled for the refund of the amount deposited by it," the tribunal said.