The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has dismissed the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT’s) plea citing delay in appeal against the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order.

As per the NCLT order, the spectrum and licence of Aircel cannot be taken away during the insolvency resolution period, against which DoT had appealed.

In its plea, the DoT raised the issue as whether licence/spectrum to run a telecom company could be subject to moratorium during the insolvency proceedings or not.

Under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), any appeal against order passed by the NCLT could be filed before the appellate tribunal within 30 days and the delay which can be condoned for reasonable cause in the NCLAT is only 15 days.

As per NCLAT, “This appeal was presented on February 20, 2020. Even giving the longest rope, if we calculate the period from December 20, 2019, the appeal is presented consuming 61 days. This being so, the appeal is time barred and for want of jurisdiction, we cannot entertain the appeal.”