BSNL fined Rs 10.5 lakh for not returning security deposit: All the details

A lower court in Dehradun has ordered BSNL to pay Rs 10.5 lakh to its dealer. This fine was imposed on the state-owned telecom company for “wrongfully forfeiting a security deposit”. BSNL challenged the decision in a commercial court where the lower court’s order was upheld by an additional district judge. The court explained that the public telecom company continued to provide services to a customer long after he stopped paying bills. According to the court’s order, it was BSNL’s fault to continue services to a customer who had stopped paying. BSNL to pay Rs 10.5 lakh to the dealer: How it happenedIn 2002, BSNL signed a contract with Tehri resident Pradeep Pokhriyal. Under the agreement, the telco allotted a dealership to Pokhriyal for the marketing and distribution of mobile services. The contract was applicable for two years on a security deposit of Rs 5 lakh.During this campaign, a mobile number was issued to a user named Surendra Ratwal who stopped paying bills. Due to non-payment, the outstanding bill amount reached Rs 4.16 lakh. For this, BSNL forfeited Pokhriyal’s Rs 5 lakh security deposit after the contract period expired. Read AlsoBSNL to start 5G services in 2024″BSNL 5G services will be available from March or April 2024. It is progressing very fast. In 2023, we will see the rapid rollout of 4G and 5G in 2024,” Vaishnaw said while speaking to reporters here.Read AlsoBSNL Balance Check Online: Different ways to check BSNL data balance, SMS, validity and talktimeBharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, popularly known as BSNL, is a public sector telecom company that offers the customers a broad spectrum of recharge plans, both national and international. Just like other telecom providers such as Airtel, Vodafone Idea, or Reliance Jio, BSNL also helps its users toPokhriyal approached the high court for redressal. The high court appointed retired district judge PC Aggarwal as a mediator to resolve the issue. The arbitrator ordered BSNL to pay Rs 10.5 lakh and this decision was challenged by the company in the commercial court.What BSNL has to say about the fineBSNL said that the fine was illegal and claimed to be against “the public policy of the country”. Meanwhile, the telco also challenged that the arbitrator wasn’t considerate of the case law submitted by the company and asked for the order to be set aside.The dealer argued that it was BSNL’s duty to verify the address of the customer before releasing the mobile phone connection to him.Moreover, the court was also surprised to know that BSNL started an ISD facility on a number whose owner was not paying the bill. The company even continued offering its services to this number for the next 18 months.The court dismissed the BSNL’s petition after considering all the facts. The court also considered that the arbitrator “had not committed any illegality and irregularity” while sanctioning the fine.