Petition No. 196/241/248/250/278/352/393 of 2013. Case: Reliance Communication Ltd. Vs Union of India. TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal)

Case NumberPetition No. 196/241/248/250/278/352/393 of 2013
CounselFor Appellant: Mr. Navin Chawla, Advocate, Ms. Manali Singhal, Advocate and Mr. Santosh Sachin, Advocate and For Respondents: Mr. S.S. Shamshery, Advocate and Mr. Vikas Malik, Advocate
JudgesMr. Aftab Alam, Chairperson and Dr. Kuldip Singh, Member and Mr. Bipin Bihari Srivastava, Member
IssueIndian Telegraph Act, 1885 - Section 4
Judgement DateFebruary 23, 2016
CourtTDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal)


Dr. Kuldip Singh, Member

The short question that arises for consideration in these petitions is in regard to the interest levied on penalties, imposed on the petitioner, for violation of the norms related to verification of Customer Application Forms (CAFs).

The petitioner is a telecom service provider. It has been granted license under section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to provide mobile telephone services in various telecom circles. The facts of the case, unless otherwise stated, have been taken from Petition No. 196 of 2013. However, as the facts in other petitions are similar to these facts, and the issue of dispute in regard to levy of interest is the same, these are being disposed of by this common order.

Petition No. 196 of 2013 pertains to the license of the petitioner for certain areas of Punjab. The respondent has imposed penalties upon the petitioner from time to time for its alleged non -- compliance with the subscriber''s verification form and not making payments of the same by the petitioner. Though the petitioner has questioned the imposition of the penalties on merits in these petitions, the only issue pressed during the hearing was with regard to interest component on the demands raised.

The case of the petitioner is on two grounds:

Firstly, that in terms of the circular of the respondent dated 4.11.2010, the service provider made a representation against the penalty imposed by DDG TERM Cell, DoT. Such penalty was to be deposited, as per decision of the DDG TERM Cell, within one week from the date of decision of the TERM Cell or within 21 days from the date of issue of show cause notice, whichever is later.

Secondly, the various circulars and guidelines issued by the respondent were challenged before the Tribunal in Petition No. 252 of 2011. In any case, the demanded penalty imposed had to be revised and a fresh demand was to be raised in accordance with the judgment dated 12.4.2012 of the Tribunal in that case.

Heard Mr. Chawla, counsel for the petitioner and Mr. Shamshery, counsel appearing on behalf of the Union of India.

Recently, in the case of Tata Teleservices Ltd. Vs. Union Of India1, it was decided that since the demand had to be recalculated by the DoT in terms of the Tribunal judgment in petition no. 252 of 2011, the original demand had become non-est and the demand would fructify only when the revised demand was raised. The demands of interest were set aside. The relevant portion of the...

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