The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to move the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to exclude spectrum held by Aircel from the scope of the moratorium on it.

To this end, the DoT wants Aircel to return the airwaves to the government for not paying dues.

The DoT’s move follows the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) recent dismissal of the DoT’s plea citing delay in appeal against an National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order. As per the NCLT order, the spectrum and licence of Aircel could not be taken away during the insolvency resolution period, against which DoT had appealed.

The battle between Aircel and DoT started when in 2018 the telco had filed for bankruptcy weighed down by Rs 260 billion of debt, and DoT had demanded payment of dues on airwaves, failing which the government claimed to suspend the telco’s licenses.