Slapped with a penalty of over Rs26 crore for not following guidelines on re-verification of pre-paid subscribers in the troubled state of Jammu & Kashmir, Bharti Airtel has asked the J&K division of the department of telecommunications (DoT) to take a lenient view and review the penalty.
Bharti Airtel has requested the telecom enforcement, resource and monitoring (TERM) cell of Jammu and Kashmir, which monitors service providers to ensure they adhere to the licence conditions and take care of telecom security issues, to reduce the penalty amount to Rs1,000 per case instead of Rs5,000.
The TERM Cell of J&K has approached the telecom ministry in Delhi seeking its advice whether to consider the amount of penalty of Rs50,000 or Rs5,000 for non-compliant case as the total penalty reduces respectively from Rs26.92 crore to Rs2.92 crore only.
Bharti Airtel has represented the case to J&K's TERM cell and termed the penalty of Rs26.92 crore as "very harsh", disproportionate to various judgements pronounced by High Court and TDSAT.
The company is facing charges of providing recharges without re-verification of addresses.
According to J&K's TERM cell, the company has violated the guidelines, prescribed in a DoT order dated 20 January 2010, regarding restoration of pre-paid connections only upon complete re-verification.