New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT has directed Reliance Communications to deposit Rs 5 crore and a bank guarantee of Rs 15 crore to the DoT, which had imposed a penalty on the firm for not completing verification details of its customers in Assam within the prescribed time-limit.
The DoT had on September 21, 2012 had imposed a penalty of Rs 39.82 crore on RCom for not completing the verification of Customer's Application Form (CAF) in Assam circle by April this year.
Passing an interim order, the tribunal said if RCom deposits the amount within two weeks then no coercive steps would be taken by the DoT.
"...We are of the opinion that in the event the Petitioner (RCom) deposits a sum of Rs 5 crore with the respondent (DoT) and furnishes a bank guarantee for Rs 15 crore within a period of two weeks from date, no coercive step may be taken against it for enforcing the impugned order," said TDSAT.
According to DoT, only 67.08 percent subscribers were correctly verified by RCom during April, 2012 and there were 1,991 cases of missing CAFs and non-compliance of address proof with photograph.
This was challenged by RCom before the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
RCom contended that there were only 81 CAF which were not verified and it would be required to pay Rs 81,000 only.
It further said that DoT has demanded a sum which is more than the licence fee payable for two years.
This was questioned by DoT contending that licence fee cannot be compared with penalties under government circulars.
Agreeing with DoT, the TDSAT said: "It has rightly been submitted... Cannot compare the licence fee with the amount of penalty imposed on RCom as the latter is governed by circulars issued by the DoT."
Passing a circular on December 24, 2008 DoT had asked the operators to submit CAFs within the specified time, failing which penalty would be imposed.