3G dispute: Court refuses to stay TDSAT order

February 23rd, 2012 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday refused to stay an order of telecom tribunal TDSAT restraining the Department of Telecom (DoT) from enforcing a ban on 3G roaming pacts between mobile operators.

Challenging the jurisdiction of the Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to decide on the 3G roaming dispute, the DoT Thursday approached the high court, saying that the tribunal has no power to look into the licence terms and conditions entered among the operators and the DoT.

TDSAT, had Jan 20 dismissed the government’s plea challenging its jurisdiction to decide on the 3G roaming dispute.

The DoT also challenged the telecom department’s order of Dec 24 last year that had restrained the DoT from enforcing a ban on 3G roaming pacts between mobile operators.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “We are not inclined to interfere with the TDSAT order, and the petition is dismissed.”

The DoT had declared 3G roaming pacts between mobile operators illegal and asked five telecom operators to stop their inter circle roaming on 3G bandwidth within 24 hours. This order of the department was challenged by Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular before TDSAT and sought a stay on the telecom department’s order.

According to the DoT, the roaming agreement among telecom companies for 3G services is illegal and would lead to a significant loss of revenue to the government. Earlier, telecom regulator TRAI and the enforcement cell of the telecom department had termed the agreement illegal.

The service providers had entered into a roaming agreement to offer 3G services such as video calling, mobile TV and multi-media gaming in telecom circles where they could not win the 3G spectrum auctioned last year.

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