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telecom | IST

TDSAT directs DoT to reconsider RCom's plea seeking nod for sale to Jio

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to reconsider Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) plea for the No Objection Certificate (NoC), required for sale of spectrum to Reliance Jio Infocomm.
In directing the DoT to reconsider, TDSAT has clarified that Jio cannot be held liable for dues that become payable, prior to the sale of spectrum.
In December 2018, Jio had written to the DoT arguing that the company should not be held responsible for discharging spectrum related dues that become payable prior to the sale. However, DoT, refused the NOC, reasoning that both RCom and Jio can be held liable for spectrum dues that arise prior to the date of sale.
The court clarified that the only dues recoverable are the spectrum usage charges (SUCs). The court granted liberty to RCom to make fresh representations for seeking the NoC on the same. "We direct the DoT to take note of our order and to act in accordance with law," TDSAT said in their order.
Further, the court said the DoT has to consider the debt-laden telco's representation as per the law and directed the government authority to reconsider the telco's plea for the NoC which sought for sale to Jio.
In 2017, RCom had signed Rs 25,000-crore deal with Jio. The deal was that Jio will acquire RCom’s wireless infrastructure assets, which included the towers and spectrum. The deal, which was supposed to be closed by December 2018, was extended till June 28, 2019, after the DoT refused to give the NoC.
Disclosure:
 RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.