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S Tel, Videocon asked to pay 60% of penalty

Last updated on: February 02, 2011 17:24 IST
The telecom tribunal TDSAT on Wednesday asked new operators S Tel and Videocon Teleservices to pay 60 per cent of the penalty within two weeks, imposed on them by the Department of Telecom for failing to meet their roll-out obligations.

TDSAT Chairman Justice S B Sinha asked S Tel,jointly owned by C Sivasankaran and Bahrain Telecommunications, to pay 60 per cent of the penalty to the government. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) interim order came on three separate petitions filed by S Tel and Videocon.

The two had challenged the demand notice issued by DoT seeking Liquidated Damages (LD) for not rolling out its services within the stipulated period of one year. Videocon has approached TDSAT for the third time and S Tel for the second against the demand of LD charges by DoT for failing to roll-out their network within one year from the date of allotment of start up spectrum.

In its fresh notice, DoT has demanded LD charges for two circles, Jammu and Kashmir and North East, from Videocon and for one circle, Orissa, from S Tel. Earlier in a similar case, TDSAT had directed Uninor to pay 60 per cent of the penalty amount demanded by the DoT for failing to roll out services in 18 circles.

Directing DoT to file reply, TDSAT has listed the matter on February 10 for next hearing. DoT had sent notices to several firms which got new 2G licenses bundled with start-up spectrum but have not started offering services in various circles.

As per the conditions of the Unified Access Service License (UASL), the telcos are required to roll out their networks within a year from the date of allocation of spectrum. According to the agreement, in case new licencees fail to roll out services within the stipulated period, DoT shall be entitled to recover liquidation damages.

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