Tata group firms — Tata Tele Services and Tata Tele Services Maharastra — on Monday challenged the hike in spectrum usage charge in the Supreme Court.
The two companies challenged the order of the tribunal TDSAT, which has declined to stay DoT’s hike in the spectrum charge.
Admitting the plea, a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia directed the two firms to deposit 50 per cent of the increased spectrum usage charge demanded by the DoT and to submit a bank guarantee for the rest within a week.
The Supreme Court also issued notice to the DoT and directed it to file a reply.
Besides, the bench directed to tag Tata group firms’ appeal with the other telecom operators — RCom, R Tel, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom (operating in Rajasthan), Idea Cellular and Uninor.
The operators are challenging DoT’s decision to increase the usage charges 3-8 per cent of adjusted gross revenue, depending on quantum of spectrum held by an operator.
Earlier, on January 31, the Supreme Court had directed two Anil Ambani group firms Reliance Communications and Reliance Telecom to deposit 50 per cent of the increased spectrum usage charge demanded by DoT and to submit a bank guarantee for the rest within two weeks.
The DoT had asked the two ADAG group firms to deposit Rs. 94 crore for the spectrum charges as per the new rules.
On October 22, the Supreme Court had stayed the TDSAT order upholding a hike in 2G telecom spectrum usage charges, but had asked Bharti, Vodafone and Idea to deposit with it 50 per cent of the proposed increase in fee with the court’s registry.