The Delhi High Court has dismissed Vodafone Idea Limited’s (Vi) appeal against a recommendation by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that would effectively result in a penalty of Rs 20 billion for the company for denying points of interconnect to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Earlier, TRAI recommended a penalty of Rs 500 million for each of the country’s 21 circles (excluding Jammu & Kashmir) to be imposed on Bharti Airtel and Vi. TRAI had said that the telcos violated licensing norms by denying adequate points of interconnect to Jio. The penalty amounted to Rs 10.5 billion for each operator.

Additionally, the regulator recommended a penalty of Rs 9.5 billion on Idea for 19 circles. Vodafone and Idea later merged to form Vi in 2018. Challenging the penalty, the operator filed a petition in the high court alleging a violation of natural justice. Vi argued that TRAI had not granted them an opportunity to defend their actions as the show-cause notice did not indicate the possibility of a penalty recommendation.