Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 7

RELIANCE Infocomm, on Monday, paid the penalty of Rs 150 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) even as the company maintained a defiant stance on the issue of having violated licence norms by routing international long distance calls as local ones.

The move follows an order from the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Friday that found Reliance guilty of putting national security at jeopardy and ordered the company to pay the penalty.

In a statement issued today Reliance said, "The payment has been made so that the issues in dispute can be viewed dispassionately. The payment has been made without accepting the findings of TDSAT. We will explore all avenues to establish that the service provided has been in accordance with the license conditions. There has been no impropriety on our part. We have full faith in the judicial process and are confident of vindicating our stand".

Sources in Reliance said that there were two views within the company over challenging the TDSAT order in Supreme Court. While the legal advisors are in favour of taking the battle to the apex court, senior company executives are still debating the efficacy of the move.

DoT officials, on the other hand, said that the Government would adopt a wait-and-watch policy.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 8, 2005)
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