Clarification on dues order: OIL to move TDSAT, PSUs recall pleas

State-run Oil India Ltd will approach the telecom tribunal after the Supreme Court on Friday made non-telecom PSUs withdraw petitions seeking clarity on payment of licence fee dues.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had formally sought payments from Oil India. Two other state firms had not received a formal “demand notice” and may have no liability after the top court’s verdict, company executives said on the condition of anonymity.

The Supreme Court came down heavily on the non-telecom companies for approaching court for clarification. “Who’s creating all this nonsense? Who’s generating all this?,” Justice Mishra told senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, who immediately withdrew the pleas of Power Grid Corporation, Oil India Ltd, GAIL and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

The bench also dismissed a similar plea by Railtel. “We see no ground to interfere,” Justice Mishra said.

Oil India will now approach the Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), a company executive who didn’t want to be named, said. GAIL and Power Grid Corp declined to comment.

“This is a big positive for us as the court has indicated that we do not owe the dues as we were not a party to the case. It also implies that future course has to be taken only if required. We made our submissions to DoT long back,” a senior executive in one of the non-telecom companies told ET.

An official in another company said court proceedings implied that companies which were not party to the telecom case on licence fee dues are not affected.

ET News
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