Bharti Airtel, on Thursday, said it was ‘shocked and disappointed’ to receive a demand notice of Rs.650 crore from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for alleged violation of roaming norms.

The company said the demand for penalty of Rs.650 crore was devoid of any merit, and had no justification on facts and in law.

“Bharti Airtel is shocked and disappointed to receive a demand notice of Rs.650 crore from the DoT pertaining to the service of subscriber local dialling (SLD) to its subscribers between 2002 and 2005,” the company said in a statement.

Under SLD, calls received by a user outside the home service area are treated as local calls. The telecom department has said the service violates licence conditions. The company said, “The regulator had found this service to be customer-friendly, and in compliance of the licence conditions. The total revenue this SLD service generated for Bharti Airtel was a few lakh of rupees, a fact which is fully known to the DoT.” “We are disappointed that the DoT, which has the bounden duty to act rationally, has thought it fit to issue such a baseless penalty order, leaving us with no choice, but to litigate,” it added.

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