Petitions not maintainable if no interconnect agreement is produced: TDSAT

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has made it clear in six different petitions relating to recovery of dues in the absence of an interconnect agreement may not be maintainable.

In five cases filed by IndusInd Media & Communications Ltd against Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Udhistar, Sai Cable Network – II, Vinesh Tyagi, and Anita Sehrawat, the Tribunal noted that an interconnect agreement was executed on 22 August last but the petitions were for recovery of dues prior to that.

TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava said, “From the agreement it does not appear that it covered any period prior to the date of its execution.” 

The Tribunal added that it was “not at all clear as to how and on what basis the respondent was supplying signals in the absence of any agreement in writing.”

Indusind counsel Kanupriya Gupta was given time to find out if there was any agreement prior to the one annexed with the petition.

The matter was listed for 2 March but it was made clear that in case there is no agreement prior to the agreement dated 22 August, 2015, this petition for recovery of the alleged dues prior to that date may not be maintainable.

In another case by IndusInd against Vajeshwar Gundla for recovery of alleged dues of subscription fee and return of set top boxes, the Tribunal was informed that all the 144 STBs had been returned.

However, the Tribunal said the petition had been filed without any interconnect agreement between the two sides. 

Vajeshwar Gundla counsel Tushar Singh said there was no averment that the relationship between the two sides was on the basis of any agreement in writing.

However, IndusInd counsel Vandana Jaisingh said there was no mention about the interconnect agreement as it was not traceable and wanted more time. 

While adjourning the matter for 10 March, the Tribunal said, “It is made clear that in case no interconnect agreement is found to be in existence between the two sides, that will raise a question regarding the very maintainability of this petition.”

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