It seems one of India’s top 3G provider Idea Cellular is in trouble, as Department of Telecommunication (DOT) has filed a contempt case against them in Delhi High Court for adding new 3G subscribers from six conflict telecom circles where Idea don’t hold a legal 3G spectrum license.
According to a report from Time of India, Idea Cellular has willfully and deliberately disobeyed a judicial order issued by Supreme Court which had bared India’s top telecom operators Idea Cellular, Airtel and Vodafone India from adding new 3G subscribers in 7 telecom circles where it don’t have 3G spectrum license. Idea Cellular was providing 3G services in this in 6 conflict telecom circles, where they don’t hold a legal 3G spectrum license, through intra-circle roaming agreement with other operators Vodafone and Airtel.
“Instead of complying with the orders passed by this court, the petitioner (Idea Cellular) has filed an additional affidavit stating that it has ‘additionally decided’ to provide 3G services to those existing customers who meet the criteria. There is no criteria provided by this court.
The order dated April 12 is clear and has to be obeyed in its entirely. The petitioner, under the garb of so-called criteria, has modified the condition imposed by this court on April 12. therefore, it amounts to contempt of the said order,” the contempt plea filed by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said.
During December, 2011, DoT issued its first notice to all telecom operators including the Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to immediately stop providing the intra circle 3G roaming services. Operators moved against this on Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) where they got a split verdict. On September 2012, DoT issued second notice to Bharti Airtel to completely stop offering 3G services from circles where it doesn’t have proper license. This was challenged in Delhi High Court and Airtel got a stay order on this. On April 4th, Delhi High Court lifted the stay order and asked Airtel to stop its 3G service in 7 Telecom Circles. Airtel then moved against this on supreme court and got a stay order on this. And on April 12th Supreme Court bars all the three telecom operators from adding new 3G subscribers in 7 telecom circles where it don’t have 3G spectrum license.