The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to seek legal opinion on issuing a show-cause notice to Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile services operator, on charges of hiding caller identities in the Madhya Pradesh service area in January 2011.
Earlier in October 2011, the DoT had imposed a Rs50 crore fine on Airtel. But later, telecom tribunal TDSAT quashed the penalty, saying that Airtel was not issued any show cause notice and hence the order did not comply with principles of natural justice.
According to draft show cause notice, prepared by DoT for legal vetting, Airtel camouflaged caller identities for making promotional calls to non-Airtel mobile customers.
Airtel did not offer any comment on DoT charges. It had earlier said that error was made by a third-party call centre. The DoT, however, has said the call centre is not a third party as it caters exclusively for Airtel.
Airtel had also contended that there was no loss to government exchequer. But according to the DoT, ''It is high potential security threat to the nation, firstly because false identity shown at the receiving end and secondly due to non-traceability of call data records in the data warehouse.''