New Delhi:The sectoral tribunal TDSAT in its interim order on Wednesday directed DoT not to invoke bank guarantee of Allianz Infratech as the company has been merged with Etisalat DB Telecom, previously known as Swan.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s bench, headed by its chairman Justice S. B. Sinha, directed the Department of Telecom not to encash Allianz Infratech bank guarantee till further order.
The order of the tribunal came over a petition of Etisalat DB Telecom challenging the direction of DoT to furnish bank guarantee for the two circles of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, and seeking transfer of the licence issued in the name of Allianz Infratech to it after merger.
Senior counsel Ramji Srinivas appearing for Etisalat DB said that it was not feasible to furnish guarantee in the name of Allianz Infratech after its merger with Etisalat DB as the former did not exist any more.
On 24 December 2010, DoT sent a letter to Etisalat DB directing it to furnish bank guarantee in the name of Allianz Infratech. The bank guarantee issued by Allinaz to DoT on 25 February, 2009, was valid till 24 February, 2011.
In its another letter in January, DoT had threatened to encash the previous bank guarantee if the company failed to provide new one.
The telecom company also sought direction to DoT to transfer the licence to Etisalat DB which was issued in the name of Allianz Infratech.
It also sought the permission of the tribunal to renew bank guarantee in the name of Etisalat DB for the said two circles and not in the name of Allianz Infratech.
Etisalat DB Telecom is a joint venture between Etisalat and Dynamix Balwas Group.
The company submitted that it is ready to take all liabilities of Allianz Infratech.
The merger of Allianz Infratech with Etisalat DB is the first amalgamation of new entrants that were given 2G spectrum in 2008 during former telecom minister A Raja’s tenure. Existing laws prevent a telecom company’s promoters from selling their stake until three years from winning the licences.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, on Tuesday, arrested Shahid Balwa, the vice chairman of Etisalat DB Telecom, in connection with spectrum allocation scam.
TDSAT posted the matter for further hearing on 15 February, 2011.