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The  Centre has been asked by the Delhi High Court to set up a committee to examine and decide the row between the Department of Telecommunications and the telecom operators over providing 3G roaming services to their customers outside their licensed areas.
The direction of the court came on telecom major Reliance Communication’s appeal against a single judge bench order to the Centre to take no coercive action against Bharti Airtel for providing 3G roaming services to its customers outside its licensed area.

Disposing of the plea by the Anil Ambani-led firm, a bench of chief justice D Murugesan and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw the bench said, “Constitute a committee in a week to deal with it.”

The bench passed the order after considering Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra’s submission that the Department of Telecom, for which he appeared, was willing to set up a panel to hear and decide the contentions of affected parties on the issue.

DoT will now constitute within a week a committee to go examine the issue of 3G roaming services being offered by telecom majors by entering into agreements with each other. The panel, after its constitution, would fix a date of hearing and after its conclusion, would pass an order within four weeks.

According to the bench, “As the time frame for each step was put forth by the ASG, the committee should adhere to it.” A single-judge bench had earlier on October 3 directed that no coercive steps would be taken against telecom major Bharti Airtel after it moved the court against a show-cause notice of DoT to it to stop providing 3G roaming services to its customers outside its licensed area.

DoT had alleged that telecom majors have been violating its terms by providing 3G roaming services to their customers outside their licensed areas by entering into arrangements among themselves.


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