The Indian Supreme Court asked the government to refrain from taking any
"coercive steps" against Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, accused of
illegally providing intra-circle roaming facilities in seven circles
where it did not have the licences for the 3G spectrum.
The apex court also asked the parties to maintain status quo on the issue till the matter is heard on April 11.
the matter be listed on April 11. Till then, the parties are directed
to maintain status quo. In the meantime, Department of Telecom (DoT)
will not take any coercive steps," a bench comprising Chief Justice
Altamas Kabir and Vikramajit Sen said.
The apex court was hearing
the petition filed by Bharti Airtel challenging the Delhi High Court's
order giving its nod to the Centre's decision holding the 3G roaming
pact of the telecom major as illegal.
The high court's division
bench passed the order on a plea by Reliance Communications Ltd
challenging the single judge's order saying it has been incurring huge
losses for the 3G on a daily basis and Bharti has been using it free of
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had on March 15
issued a notification restraining Bharti from providing 3G intra-circle
roaming facilities 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
allegedly violating the licence terms and conditions.
major has challenged the decision of the division bench of the high
court which had set aside its single judge's March 18 order staying the
Senior advocate Abhishekh Singhvi, appearing for
Airtel, said the division bench of the high court was wrong in
entertaining the plea of Reliance as it was not a party before the