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RCOM ordered to pay Rs 392.24 million as premature exit charges to Bharti Infratel

April 15, 2019
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An arbitration tribunal has directed Reliance Communications (RCOM) to pay a sum of Rs 392.24 million to Bharti Infratel as dues related to early exit from the latter’s tower sites. The tribunal has also specified that Bharti Infratel is entitled to interest on the amount at nine per cent per annum from December 12, 2015, till the amount is realised.

The tribunal’s decision has further added to the financial problems faced by the telco. RCOM is reeling under a debt of around Rs 460 billion and is amidst a legal tussle with operational creditors including the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and others.

RCOM had earlier said it cannot pay off any dues given a payment moratorium due to its ongoing insolvency process.

In April 2010, RCOM and Bharti Infratel signed a master service agreement (MSA) to share infrastructure. As per the MSA, RCOM was to access 504 cell sites in 2010 and 2015 with expiry terms fixed between 2020 and 2025, respectively. However, RCOM exited from 456 sites on December 2, 2015. As per Infratel, since RCOM was exiting before the stipulated period, it was liable to pay the exit penalty.

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