Telecos for TDSAT's review on full penalty on NE issue
New Delhi: Telecom operators have approached the sectoral tribunal TDSAT requesting review of its direction asking them to pay full penalty imposed on them by DoT for incomplete and faulty customer details of post-paid customers in the Assam and North-East circles.
The Operators - Vodafone Spacetel, Reliance Telecom, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Idea Cellular-- have requested the tribunal to review its interim order passed on February 28.
After a brief hearing on operator's plea, a Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha reserved its order.
TDSAT had earlier held that for connections activated between July 20, 2010, and March 31, 2011 on the basis of photo identity issued by Village Panchayats and Caste and Domicile certificate by the state governments, operators would have to pay only 25 percent of the penalty.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh appearing on behalf of the telecom operators Monday submitted that 25 percent formula should be applicable on all the connections issued including on the basis of documents such as Voter ID card and Driving license.
This was opposed by the Additional Solicitor General A S Chandiok appearing for the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Telecom operators along with their association COAI are opposing DoT's penalty imposed on then for not completing directive to re-verify existing prepaid connections in Assam and North East.
In a circular last year, DoT had said certificates by Village Panchayat Head or its equivalent authority as well as caste and domicile certificates with photographs provided by state governments were not treated as ID proof.
Moreover, Voters Identity Cards issued before 2008 were also kept outside the list.
This was challenged by the operators who had contended DoT has simply extended the guidelines of J&K Service Area to Assam and North East Service Areas.