Providing relief to ADAG firm Reliance Communications (RCom), the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has stayed the penalty imposed on it by DoT for alleged violation of guidelines on subscriber identity.
Passing an interim order, the tribunal observed that RCom had outsourced its Customer Application Forms (CAFs) related work to an agency and now it has dispute with the firm.
The TDSAT said that the dispute is before a city (Bangalore) court, which had ordered RCom not to interfere with the possession of its warehouse where all the materials and data of CAFs are stored.
"We are satisfied that prima facie the Petitioner could not comply with its obligations for the months of July and August, 2011, owing to the aforementioned order of injunction [by city court]," said the TDSAT Bench headed by its Chairman Justice SB Sinha.
The Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cells of DoT had found 3,505 violations of subscribers' identity in July and August of 2011 in Madhya Pradesh circle.
According to TERM cell, RCom had failed to supply CAFs. It had also failed to comply the essential requirement of subscriber verification like photo on CAF, ID proof and address proof.
Following it, the government had passed two orders on November 9 and November 17 and imposed penalty on RCom.
This was challenged by the company before the TDSAT contending that it was impossible for them to comply with the Department of Telecom order.
The Company further contended that it has already challenged lower court's order before the Karnataka High Court, which has directed to expedite the hearing.
Agreeing with the submissions of RCom, the tribunal said, "Petitioner [RCom] shall also suffer substantial injury, if it is directed to deposit the amount of penalty imposed on it in the aforementioned facts and circumstances of the case."
The tribunal further said that issues on such "equities between the parties moreover can also be adjusted in future".
However, it further said if the city court order is changed, then RCom "must produce all the relevant data before the concerned Term Cell within two weeks from the retrieval".