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The Delhi High Court Wednesday told telecom service provider Bharti Airtel to file within 60 days its response before DoT on a notice over 3G roaming services.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued the direction while disposing of Airtel’s plea challenging the show cause notice of department of telecommunications (DoT) to telecom firms asking them to stop 3G roaming services outside their licensed area.

Telling the company to file the response before DoT, the court asked the government not to take any coercive steps.

The court’s direction to Airtel came after Additional Solicitor General Rajeev Mehra assured the court that “if the company is willing to respond on the notice no coercive steps would be taken by the government”.

Justice Shakdher said: “The petition is disposed of. DoT to adjudicate the case after the telecom service provider company Bharti Airtel files its reply.”

As sought by the government, the court also asked Airtel to provide information of customers and revenue received by it by providing intra-circle roaming service.

The telecom operators have entered into roaming agreements with others to offer 3G services such as video calling, mobile TV and multi-media gaming in areas where they do not have 3G spectrum.

Challenging the DoT show cause notice issued Sep 28, Airtel moved the court on Oct 1 saying that “it adversely affects the interest of the customers and the subscribers who are benefiting from the 3G arrangements”.

Appearing for Airtel, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the notice was contrary to the interim orders passed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal that restrained the DoT from taking any coercive step against the companies.

The DoT last December asked the operators to terminate their 3G roaming agreements calling them illegal. The department also said that the government was losing revenue because of the agreements.

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