The telecom tribunal TDSAT today directed the Department of Telecom (DoT) not to take any action against Bharti Airtel, which is facing a fresh penalty of Rs 36.94 crore for allegedly not disconnecting mobile connections with faulty customer details.
A TDSAT bench headed by Justice S B Sinha also reserved its order on the interim plea of Bharti Airtel to stay the 'demand notes' issued by the government in this regard.
On April 3, DoT had imposed additional penalty of Rs 36.94 crore on Bharti Airtel for not disconnecting the mobile connections allegedly having faulty customer application forms (CAFs). The DoT has already imposed a penalty of Rs 111.25 crore after its Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells observed 'faulty CAFs' for the months of March 2011, April 2011 & July 2011.
The penalty was challenged by Bharti Airtel before TDSAT, which had asked the operator to pay 25 per cent of the sum charged, while passing an interim order in February this year.
"DoT has originally imposed a penalty for the months of March, April & July 2011, totalling Rs 111 crore, which is impugned by Airtel vide Petition No. 27 of 2012.
"And now vide the order of April 3, 2012, another penalty is being imposed on totally unsustainable and arbitrary grounds which tantamount to penalty on penalty, which is illegal," Bharti Airtel had said in its petition.
The matter is still pending before the tribunal for final adjudication. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has termed the additional Rs 36.94 crore penalty for not disconnecting connections having alleged faulty CAF as "penalty on penalty" and termed it as "illegal" and requested the tribunal to quash the same.
"While the dispute regarding rejection of these customer application forms (CAFs) itself is pending adjudication before this tribunal, there is no justification whatsoever for further penalising the Petitioner for not disconnecting these mobile connections and/or taking any other action in that regard," said Bharti Airtel.
Bharti Airtel stock price
On November 24, 2015, Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 341.25, up Rs 2.60, or 0.77 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 452.45 and the 52-week low was Rs 315.65.
The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 25.82 per share as per the quarter ended September 2015. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 13.22. The latest book value of the company is Rs 195.80 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 1.74.
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