DoT hands back INR3bn to Aircel; Supreme Court finds RCOM heads in contempt of court

20 Feb 2019

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a refund of INR2.98 billion (USD41.7 million) to Aircel, following a Supreme Court order on the matter. The Economic Times writes that the bankrupt cellco was due INR2.98 billion from the DoT and INR4.54 billion from Bharti Airtel in relation to its sale of 4G spectrum to Airtel in 2016. Airtel has so far paid INR3.42 billion of that amount, claiming to have deducted unpaid interconnection charges from the figure.

In a related matter, Reliance Communications (RCOM) chairman and directors have been found guilty of contempt of court for failing to repay vendor partner Ericsson INR5.5 billion. The company had planned to use funds raised from the sale of its spectrum to Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) but RCOM struggled to get regulatory clearance for the transaction and was forced to begin insolvency proceedings earlier this month. The apex court has now given RCOM’s chiefs four weeks to pay the outstanding amount of INR4.5 billion, plus additional fines totalling INR30 million, or the officials will face custodial sentences.

India, Aircel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Reliance Communications (RCOM)