The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its order on a petition by the Cellular Operators' Association of India challenging “the steep” hike in fee for installation of mobile towers effected by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi as well as seeking a direction to the civic body to stop sealing of these towers.

Justice Kailash Gambhir reserved the order on conclusion of arguments.

The Association opposed the hike in fee from Rs.1 lakh to 5 lakh submitting that it was arbitrary and irrational as the cellular operators had not been provided any new facility.

Countering this argument, counsel for the civic body submitted that it was not a compensatory fee in which the customer got certain compensation from the service provider in lieu of payment of fee.

The civic body's argument was that it was a regulatory fee where nothing in compensation was provided to the customer.

When Justice Gambhir asked the civic body whether it was ready to lower the rate of the fee, it expressed its inability to revise it. Then Justice Gambhir said he would pass an order.

In the meanwhile, the interim stay on sealing of these towers will continue.

The civic body had launched the sealing drive on May 12 at the expiry of the deadline for submission of forms for regularisation of the towers by the operators.

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