SC Admits COAI Petition, Sends Notice To Govt

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 11 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Supreme Court Monday admitted the petition of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) challenging the TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) order that allowed wireless in local loop (WLL) to basic telecom operators in the country. The court has issued notice to the government, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and other basic telecom operators for the same. The next date of hearing has not been given by the court as yet.

Said COAI counsel Manjul Bajpai, The very fact that our petition was admitted shows that there is merit in our appeal and it will be heard.

It may be pointed out that the COAI appeal was statutory in nature, which are admitted in most likelihood. However, the court could still have dismissed the case.

A bench comprising Justice S Rajendra Babu, Justice AR Lakshmanan and Justice GP Mathur issued notice on the interim prayer of the petitioners seeking stay of the WLL services saying it infringed the NTP-99 and their service agreement.

Meanwhile, the basic operators have said that since no stay has been granted by the Supreme Court, consumers of limited mobility services would not get affected. According to Association of Basic Telecom Operators (ABTO) secretary general SC Khanna, The decision of the Supreme Court not to grant any stay is to be welcomed.

The cellular operators, in their interim prayer, had requested the court to direct the centre not to give effect to the permission for limited mobility, direct WLL operators not to make functional the handsets outside the SDCA, and that third party rights should not be allowed to be created.