SC rejects curative petitions of Sistema, TTSL & Idea

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 15 2013, 09:16am hrs
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the curative petition of Sistema Shyam seeking setting aside of the courts February 2 order on cancellation of its licences.

With this, curative petitions of other companies Videocon Telecommunications, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular were also rejected.

A bench comprising three senior judges led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said that no case is made out and hence, the curative petitions are dismissed. It also rejected SSTLs applications for stay and appropriate directions filed in the curative petition.

Besides, the bench, which also comprised justices P Sathasivam and GS Singhvi, also rejected former telecom minister A Rajas plea for grant of permission to file curative petitions.

Now Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which offers mobile services on the CDMA platform under the MTS brand, has no option but to bid in the second round of 2G spectrum auction scheduled for March 11. SSTL, which is set to lose licence in all but one of its 22 telecom zones, had opted out of participating in the first round of 2G spectrum auction in November following cancellation of its licences, saying the price was too high.

However, the company had indicated during the last court hearing on Monday that it was ready to participate in the next round of 2G spectrum auction scheduled for March 11 and would take a decision on February 22 to choose the circles.

Commeting on the dismissal of its curative petition by the SC, SSTL said, It is unfortunate that the Honble Supreme Court has not admitted the curative petition of Sistema Shyam TeleServices. The company believes that it has been unfairly penalised in the February 2, 2012, order by the honourable Supreme Court. While SSTL remains committed to its operations, however, it would be up to the shareholders to decide the go forward strategy of the company.

The government had last month halved the reserve price for CDMA spectrum in a bid to get SSTL bid in the upcoming auctions.

Sistema, which has invested more than $ 3.2 billion in India, had also warned that the dispute over its permits would threaten diplomatic ties between India and Russia.

The telecom department had also earlier indicated that it would support Sistema's curative petition in the apex court. SSTL had even threatened to seek billions of dollars in damages by initiating international arbitration proceedings if the Indian government failed to finalise a strategy for restoring its quashed permits.