Idea, Tata move SC against 2G licence cancellation order

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 28 2012, 09:09am hrs
Mobile operator Idea Cellular has sought clarification from the Supreme Court with regard to its judgment that cancelled 122 telecom licences awarded by the then telecom minister A Raja to 11 companies in 2008.

The apex court had on February 2 cancelled these licences on the ground that there was a fundamental flaw in the first-come, first-served principle and had termed such allotment as

illegal.

The licences cancelled included 21 of Videocon, 22 of Unitech Wireless (Uninor), nine of Idea, 21 of Loop, six of S-Tel, 21 of Sistema, three of Tatas, 13 of Swan and two of Allianz.

The Mumbai-based Aditya Birla group firm through its clarificatory application said that it had applied for a license in 2006 and not in 2008, when Raja had allegedly flouted norms to give licenses on first-come-first-serve basis.

Idea in its application has stated that it applied for the license in June 2006 and as noted by the Supreme Court, the applications were covered by clause 23 of the UASL guidelines, which were required to be processed within 30 days of their application.

Ideas license applications were unjustly delayed until 2008, otherwise they fall in the same category as other 2004 and 2006 applications... which do not form part of the cancelled licenses, the company said.

Even Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTL) has also filed its review petition against the cancellation order as the company had applied for these licences more than 18 months before the 2008 licensing process began.

TTLs three licences for Assam, the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir were cancelled as part of the 122 2G licences issued by Raja in January 2008.

TTL had applied for these three licences way back in June 2006 and this was kept pending for over 18 months until LOIs were finally issued in January 2008, a company statement had stated earlier.

Even other affected companies, including Shyam Sistema that operates data services under the MTS brand, are planning to seek review of the verdict.

Even Raja, who is behind bars for more than a year, is expected to file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a review of the judgment on the ground that it could have an adverse impact on his trial pending before a Special CBI court.