Rs 2.5 crore BSNL bill: Madras HC nixes relief for Isha Foundation, orders second inquiry by arbitrator

The Madras High Court on Friday set aside an award granted in favour of the Isha Foundation in connection with the dispute over higher amount of bills for using BSNL services.

Published: 13th August 2022 05:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2022 05:48 AM   |  A+A-

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. (Photo | Isha Foundation)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday set aside an award granted in favour of the Isha Foundation in connection with the dispute over higher amount of bills for using BSNL services. BSNL issued bills claiming Rs 20,18,198 for the billing period from 01.12.2018 to 31.12.2018 and another bill for Rs 2,30,29,264 for the billing period from 1.1.2019 to 1.02.2019 to Isha. It challenged the bills before the high court, which appointed retired judge Justice E Padmanabhan as arbitrator and he quashed the two bills.Against his order, the BSNL approached the high court.

Appearing for BSNL, senior counsel P Wilson argued that the once calls were made and recorded in the exchange located inside the Isha Foundation, the ashram could not deny its liability on the ground that it had not made the calls.

He said the arbitrator had not taken into account the call records and many clinching documents but relied upon the evidence provided by a yogi of the ashram, and added that men could lie, but not the machines. The arbitrator accepted the version of the ashram and rejected the entire claim of BSNL, Wilson said. Concurring with his arguments, Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoothy set aside the award and ordered a new inquiry by the arbitrator.

Isha Yoga’s clarification
BSNL raised a bill of Rs 2.5 crore for phone usage between December 2018 and January 2019 while Isha Yoga Centre’s credit limit was only Rs 66,900 a month. Prior to this, the regular monthly bill of the centre was less than Rs 22,000 a month for the past 10 years. The arbitrator did not agree with BSNL’s contention of such an extraordinarily high bill and ordered Isha Yoga Centre to deposit an average monthly amount of Rs 22,000 a month for two months December 2018 and January 2019.

What transpired
BSNL issued bills claiming `20,18,198 for the billing period from 01.12.2018 to 31.12.2018 and another bill for `2,30,29,264 for the billing period from 1.1.2019 to 1.02.2019 to Isha. It challenged the bills before the high court, which appointed retired judge Justice E Padmanabhan as arbitrator and he quashed the two bills. Against his order, the BSNL approached the high court



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