The apex court bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khekar and Justice R. Banumathi while asking the Vodafone to deposit Rs 2,000 crore said soon after that the government would forthwith grant approval for the merger of four entities into VMSL.

It would be imperative for the central government to approve the merger forthwith after VMSL deposits the money, the court said observing in the course of the hearing that the 'trivialist of the matters are being filed by telecom companies'.

The court order came on the plea by the Centre challenging the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) November 6 order by which the telecom appellate tribunal had the DoT to 'provisionally allow the merger of licences without insisting on payments of the impugned demands'.

The government had asked the Vodafone Mobile Services to deposit Rs 6,678 crore in pursuance to its proposed merger of its four entities - Vodafone East, Vodafone South and Vodafone Cellular and Vodafone Digilink - into it.

However, the demand of Rs 6,678 crore by the DoT was contested by the VMSL which said that it had agreed to pay Rs 1,773 crore only. Having directed the VMSL to deposit Rs 2,000 crore, the apex court asked the concerned courts and tribunals dealing with various disputes involving OTSC, SUC and the computation of AGR to dispose off the matters expeditiously.

 

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