India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) must repay INR1.04 billion (USD14.4 million) to the bankrupt operator Reliance Communications (RCom) after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
The TDSAT’s ruling was issued in December 2018 after the DoT cashed bank guarantees worth INR9.08 billion against spectrum dues of INR7.74 billion, then held on to the excess to cover the operator’s remaining liabilities. The DoT appealed the decision.
In its ruling, the TDSAT stated that this excess must not be used to cover other dues, arguing that while the DoT had adjusted INR303 million, “the remaining amount of INR1.04 billion...should be returned to the petitioner without prejudice to rights of either party for any other charges which the petitioner may be found liable to pay.”
RCom began insolvency proceedings in early 2019, and its creditors are currently evaluating bids on the operator’s assets.