In what could revive a decade-old issue relating to alleged caller line identification (CLI) tampering by Reliance Infocomm (now called Reliance Communications) in 2004 to route ISD and STD calls as local ones, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre whether it took any action against the company for these violations.
The department of telecom had on December 2004 imposed a penalty of Rs 150 crore on Reliance Infocomm, when the Ambani brothers had not divided their family assets, for violation of CLI guidelines under the Unified Access Service licence for Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas.
Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had on March 4, 2005 upheld the finding that Reliance had generated dummy or bogus subscriber numbers and corrected it only in September 16, 2004 after DoT sought an explanation. Appearing for MTNL, additional solicitor general Maninder Singh informed a bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra that Reliance had withdrawn its appeal against the TDSAT order from the SC.
Singh said in the execution proceedings before TDSAT, MTNL had sought a direction to Reliance to supply ‘command log files’ and other documents so as to enable determination of the number of interpolations in CLI done by the company. He complained that TDSAT had not referred to MTNL’s plea in its February 13, 2014 order.
The ASG said, “The extent of CLI tampering could only be determined from command log files, which are in possession of Reliance and have not been given to MTNL. A plea has now been made by Reliance that the command log files of the relevant period stood deleted.”