Apex court asks Tata, Reliance to pay access deficit charges

April 30th, 2008 - 9:04 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Observing that Tata Teleservices’ ‘Walky’ and Reliance Communication’s ‘Unlimited Cordless’ telephone services fall in the category of “limited mobile telephony services”, the Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that the two Indian telecom majors are liable to pay Access Deficit Charges (ADC) to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. A bench headed by Justice H.S. Kapadia gave the ruling while hearing two separate appeals by Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communication - earlier known as Reliance Infocom - against a September 2005 order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

TDSAT order had held that these services are not fixed lines telephones, but limited mobile.

ADC is a levy paid by private telecom operators to the state-run BSNL in lieu of their not meeting the rural operation obligations.

The apex court earlier had reserved its ruling on petitions by Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communication challenging the TDSAT order which had held their two particular telephony services as limited mobile telephony services as opposed to fixed line service.

The TDSAT had ruled that Tata Telservices’ fixed wireless telephone was equivalent to a mobile service and so was Reliance Communication’s unlimited cordless service and they were liable to pay ADC to BSNL.

Tata Teleservices owes Rs.3 billion to BSNL as Access Deficit Charges, while Reliance Communication owes ADC to the tune of Rs.4 billion to BSNL.

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