The Delhi high court on Wednesday restrained the Centre from taking coercive steps against telecom major Bharti Airtel which has recently been served with a notice to stop providing 3G roaming services to its customers outside their licensed area.
"Department of Telecommunication (DoT) will not take any coercive action against the petitioner which will respond to the show cause notice (issued by DoT) within 60 days," Justice Rajiv Shakdher said.
The DoT, on September 28, issued notice to the telecom major asking it to stop providing intra circle roaming (ICR) facilities to its customers as it amounted to violation of the agreement with the telecom department.
The company has sought the setting aside of the notice saying that it amounted to "disconnecting the connected customers".
Disposing of the petition, Justice Shakdher, however, did not allow the plea of Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra that the telecom company, which lack 3G licenses in some circles, be restrained from providing services to new customers.
"The petitioner will have to provide details of new customers, who would be provided 3G services," the court said, adding that the DoT will adjudicate upon the issue after the telecom company replies to the show cause notice.
"What is the tearing hurry, I fail to understand. We have just given a notice and it is not that we are switching the services off," the ASG said while replying to the submissions of senior advocate A M Singhvi, the counsel for Airtel, that the operation of the DoT notice be stayed.