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TDSAT asks govt to return half of Loop's bank guarantee

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New Delhi:

Telecom tribunal TDSAT today directed the government to return 50 per cent amount of the Financial Bank Guarantee (FBG) submitted by Loop Telecom at the time of allotment of spectrum in 2008.

Loop had submitted Rs 555 crore as FBG in January 2008 for earmarking of spectrum for 21 circles to the Department of Telecom (DoT) in January 2008. Later, it renewed FBG of Rs 540 crore in January 2011.

Partly allowing the plea of Loop Telecom, which has closed down operation after a Supreme Court order, the TDSAT said that its licence was valid till January 2013, hence only half of the FBG would be returned.

The company stopped operations after the February 2, 2012 order of Supreme Court cancelling 122 telecom licences, including those of Loop, in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Loop contended that DoT had not issued any direction to it to continue its operation and no further demand has been raised by them.

"We are of the opinion that as in terms of the direction of the Supreme Court of India the licences issued to the Petitioner prima facie would remain valid till January 10, 2013, the Respondent (DoT)  should be directed to return fifty percent of the FBG for each of the circles at this stage," said the TDSAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S B Sinha.

Loop had approached the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal seeking release of the Rs 540 crore FBG, contending that DoT has not reviewed the issue. It further said the firm has provided to DoT its tax returns from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 for the purpose of payment of Annual Gross Revenue as licence fee and will be soon give the same for the 2011-2012 financial year.

Story first published on: October 09, 2012 20:14 (IST)

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