Facing a huge penalty of over Rs 26 crore for not following guidelines on re-verification of pre-paid subscribers in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir, Bharti Airtel has asked the J&K division of DoT to take a lenient view and review the penalty.

Bharti Airtel has requested the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM cell) of Jammu and Kashmir, which monitors and ensure that service providers adhere to the licence conditions and for taking care of telecom network security issues, to take a lenient view and review the penalty amount to Rs 1,000 per case instead of Rs 50,000.

The TERM Cell of J&K has approached the Telecom Ministry in Delhi, seeking its advice whether to consider the amount of penalty of Rs 50,000 or Rs 5,000 for non-compliant case as the total penalty reduces respectively from Rs 26.92 crore to Rs 2.69 crore only, DoT officials said.

Bharti Airtel, they said, has represented the case to J&K’s TERM cell and termed the Penalty of Rs 26.92 crore as “very harsh”, disproportionate to various judgements pronounced by High Court and TDSAT.

The company is facing charges of violating the norms of recharging without re-verification of cases.

According to J&K’s TERM cell, the company has violated the guidelines, prescribed wide DoT order dated 20.1.2010, regarding restoration of pre-paid connections upon completion of re-verification.

The licencee (service provider) has allowed recharge on the pre-paid numbers on which re-verification flag was not there. The TERM cell has imposed penalty of Rs 50,000 per case (highest slab) which was further revised downward to Rs 5,000 per case.

Bharti has, however, requested it bring it down further to Rs 1,000 per case.

The J&K’s TERM cell has written to the DoT last week for necessary instructions in this regard, sources added.