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NCLAT stays notices issued by DoT against Reliance

PW Bureau

c New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has imposed a stay on the two notices issued by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to Reliance Communications over a delay in payment, saying that they go against the direction passed by the tribunal. DoT had issued notices to Reliance asking why its licence for the Mumbai circle should not be withdrawn since it owes Rs 21 crore for spectrum payment. A two-member bench, headed by Chairman Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya, however, stayed the notice dated March 20 to Axis Bank, seeking encashment of the bank guarantee of Rs 2,000 crores given by the Anil Ambani group firm. "The show cause notices of March 14 and 15 and letter dated March 20 by DoT are against the direction passed by this tribunal," the NCLAT said.

'DoT notices violate Feb 4 order'

The tribunal said that the notices went against the order passed by it on February 4 when it had granted protection to RCom against asset sale without its permission. The NCLAT also issued a notice to DoT in return and directed to list the matter for April 8, along with the main case. The direction came after RCom moved an application. In its February 4 order, the tribunal had said that until further orders of the NCLAT or the Supreme Court, no one can sell, alienate, or create third-party rights over RCom's assets. The asset sale agreements, which were signed on December 28, 2017 and August 11, 2018, were supposed to reduce RCom's debt but the deal was held up because of regulatory and legal hurdles. The transactions failed to take place because of non-receipt of consent and no-objection certificates from 40 of RCom's foreign and Indian lenders.