The Delhi high court today allowed Bharti Airtel, one of the largest cellular companies, to continue with its 3G Intra-circle roaming facilities till its final order.
The DoT had last week issued a fresh order to the company directing it to stop intra-circle 3G roaming in seven circles where it did not have the spectrum and also levied a penalty of Rs. 350 crore (Rs. 50 crore per circle) for violating the licence terms and conditions.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher said "3G roaming to continue until the final order but an interim order will be passed later on Airtel's plea for stay of the government's order".
The court also asked Bharti Airtel to keep the earnings from 3G facilities in a separate account and posted the matter for May 8.
The court had earlier passed a stay order on a similar petition filed by Idea cellular.
Airtel has challenged a Telecommunications Ministry's order asking it to stop providing 3G services in seven zones where it does not have its own airwaves and is offering the services through pacts with other telecom carriers.
The ministry had said such pacts were illegal and ordered Bharti to pay a penalty of Rs. 350 crore.
The order was issued to the mobile service provider after the company had submitted its stand on the subject to a DoT-constituted committee on the matter as per the direction of the Delhi high court in October 2012.