Seeking a stay on the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) show cause notice, Bharti Airtel Ltd moved to Delhi High Court asking the company to stop intra-circle 3G roaming pacts.
In its fillings, Bharti has sought quashing of notice issued on Sep 28 and an interim direction to restrain telecom department from taking any coercive action till the case on 3G intra circle roaming is finally decided by the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
The Delhi High Court had asked TDSAT to decide the matter again after a third member was appointed to the tribunal. The petition said the Sep 28 notice is contrary to an earlier interim direction of the tribunal that had asked DoT not to take any coercive action against companies till the case is finally decided.
As per petition The decision of the DoT is against the public interest since it adversely affects the interest of the customers and the subscribers who are benefiting from the 3G arrangements. It is contrary to the national and public interest as the rights of the millions of subscribers, enjoying the facility of 3G roaming due to the ICR (intra-circle roaming) arrangements will be affected.
DOT served show cause notices on Bharti Airtel Ltd along with Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone-Essar asking them to halt their 3G roaming pacts with immediate effect. The companies had been asked to respond to the department’s notice within 60 days.
The telecom department had claimed that 3G roaming agreements were in violation of licence agreements and led to revenue loss for the government. Shares of Bharti Airtel ended down marginally, at 265.05 rupees. It took a big knock on last friday when notice were issued to end 36 roaming pacts. Some analyst believes that if implemented there will be 6-8% downgrade in earning per share (EPS) forecast for Bharti Airtel.